Tapestry: An Event Weaving Stories and Data

on January 3, 2013

"The universe is made of stories, not atoms." Said Muriel Ruskeyer, an American poet.

Many of you use data to express a narrative. You use it to invite discussion. You use it to change minds.

You use it to tell stories.

Tapestry is a new event designed to bring together designers, academics and journalists, all of whom are coming at data storytelling from different angles. Tableau is sponsoring this event.

In the early years of video many people said the medium was frivolous. The entrance of thousands, and then millions, into video would result in untold numbers of cat videos and angsty diatribes. Well, it did.

But the democratization of video also gave us The League of Extraordinary Dancers, kids from all over the world who watched dance videos, created new moves and became exceptional dancers. You can learn about the League in this TED Talk, which by the way is another phenomenon that no one would have predicted in video's early days: world class experts recording short videos that have inspired millions.

Today some people think that interactive online data can be a nicer way to present lists. Other more forward-thinking folks know that interactive data can be a new medium for understanding the world around us by telling stories. Some stories are best told with data, just as others are best told with prose, or pictures, or video, or even comic books.

The event is in Nashville on Wednesday Feb. 27, with a reception the night before on Tuesday Feb. 26.

Three excellent speakers have agreed to keynote.

  • Jonathan Corum, Graphics Editor at the NY Times, is one of the one of the world’s leading experts on using data in journalism.
  • Robert Kosara is the long-time editor of the popular blog eagereyes.org and computer science professor.
  • Scott McCloud is a world-famous cartoonist recognized as the leading theorist on comics as a distinct literary and artistic medium.

There are some other great speakers who will be presenting Short Stories, and a demo showcase that will feature projects and products related to online data storytelling.

If this sounds interesting to you, find out more and request an invitation at the Tapestry website.