iSchool to unveil new art installation, Library of Color

Library of Color artwork

When students return to campus for the fall semester, they will find an exciting new art installation welcoming them back. The digital art installation, Library of Color, will be in the east foyer of the iSchool building at 501 E. Daniel Street. The artwork was created by Jer Thorp and made possible through a generous grant from the John N. Chester Estate Endowment Fund provided by the Office of the Chancellor.

Thorp is best known for designing the algorithm to place the nearly 3,000 names on the 9/11 Memorial in Manhattan. He is one of the world's foremost data artists and a leading voice for the ethical use of big data. His data-inspired artwork has been shown around the world, including in New York's Times Square and Museum of Modern Art, the Ars Electronica Center in Austria, and the National Seoul Museum in Korea. In addition to his artwork, Thorp is the author of Living in Data: A Citizen's Guide to a Better Information Future, which was recently published by Macmillan.

Thorp created the web-based A Library of Color while serving as the Innovator-in-Residence at the Library of Congress.

"Library of Color uses custom-written text analysis software to extract color words (red, blue, sand, blood, grass) from titles of collections material. The results are displayed as wide color palettes, where each slice represents an individual book, photograph, map, or other object," said Thorp.

The iSchool's Library of Color will be a permanent media piece, installed on a flat-screen video wall.

"The piece will exist in a kind of 'dream state' where it explores the collections color palette over time. The system will never repeat itself, taking a long and always changing path through color space," said Thorp.

According to the committee in charge of selecting the artist and artwork, this new digital installation will embrace the iSchool's foundation, history, and values, while also exemplifying the School's commitment to shaping the future of information using a creative, interdisciplinary approach.

The School will unveil Library of Color at a virtual "sneak peek" event during the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference. The event will be held on June 23 at 3:00 p.m. CT; advance registration is required for Zoom participation information.

Updated on
Backto the news archive

Related News

Professor Jerome McDonough passes away

Associate Professor Jerome ("Jerry") McDonough passed away at his home on September 17 after a long illness. He is survived by his spouse, Associate Professor Lori Kendall, and extended family and many beloved friends and colleagues.

Jerome McDonough

iSchool to host JCDL 2021

The iSchool at Illinois will host the 2021 ACM/IEEE Joint Conference on Digital Libraries (JCDL), which will be held virtually from September 27-30. JCDL is a major international forum focusing on digital libraries and associated technical, practical, and social issues. The conference will feature paper and poster presentations as well as a wide variety of tutorials and workshops offering hands-on experiences with different digital libraries and online archives.

JCDL logo 2021

iSchool faculty ranked as excellent

Forty-seven iSchool instructors were named in the University's List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent for Spring 2021. The rankings are released every semester, and results are based on the Instructor and Course Evaluation System (ICES) questionnaire forms maintained by Measurement and Evaluation in the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning. Only those instructors who gave out ICES forms during the semester and who released their data for publication are included in the list.

iSchool Building

Get to Know: Peggy Regan, Office Administrator

Our School is grateful for talented and dedicated staff, who contribute greatly to our teaching and research excellence. Today's "Get to Know" highlights Office Administrator Peggy Regan.

Peggy Regan

iSchool surpasses goal for “With Illinois” campaign

The iSchool has surpassed its $20 million goal for the "With Illinois" campaign, the Urbana campus' most ambitious fundraising effort to date. Gifts toward "With Illinois" will continue until June 30, 2022. The School's priorities for the campaign are to offer an accessible education, enrich the student experience, and provide faculty support.

iSchool Building