Manuel Lima

Session: The Power of Networks

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Manuel Lima, author of Visual Complexity: Mapping Patterns of Information, will lead a discussion on network visualization that will be drawn live by ImageThink (Nora Herting and Heather Willems). Network visualization has experienced a meteoric rise in the last decade, bringing together people from various fields and capturing the interest of individuals across the globe. As the practice continues to shed light on an incredible array of complex issues, it keeps drawing attention back to itself. This talk will explore a critical paradigm shift in various areas of knowledge, as we stop relying on hierarchical tree structures and turn instead to networks to map the inherent complexities of our modern world. The talk will also showcase a variety of captivating examples of network visualization and introduce the network topology as a new cultural meme.

The Observer Effects series invites thinkers to present their highly integrative work in dialogue with the fields of art and science. This lecture series takes its title from a popularized principle in physics that holds that the act of observation transforms the observed. Outside the natural sciences, the idea that the observer and the observed are linked in a web of reciprocal modification has been deeply influential in philosophy, aesthetics, psychology, and politics.

Emily Berçir Zimmerman

Nominated by Creativity magazine as “one of the 50 most creative and influential minds of 2009,” Manuel Lima is an interaction designer, researcher, and founder of, a comprehensive repository of complex network visualizations. Prior to joining Microsoft, Lima worked as a senior user experience designer at Nokia and senior interaction designer at the leading digital agency R/GA. He holds a BFA in industrial design and an MFA in design and technology from Parsons School of Design. During the course of the MFA program, Lima worked for Siemens Corporate Research Center, the American Museum of the Moving Image, and Parsons Institute for Information Mapping in research projects for the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency.

ImageThink was founded by Nora Herting and Heather Willems, who share a unique background and have a passion for clear communication. ImageThink transforms complex ideas into powerful visual stories and uses the art of graphic facilitation to aid brainstorms, mission development, culture transformations, keynote speeches, and panel discussions.

Herting and Willems are both trained fine artists and art educators with eight years combined experience working on facilitation teams in consulting and IT. They have taught at Ohio State University, Denison University, Minnesota Center for Photography, and Minneapolis College of Art and Design.

As artists, their body of work includes creating art installations, performance art, videos and animations, public portraiture, and social gardening. They both live and work in Brooklyn.

Manuel Lima
November 7, 2012, 6PM
In Depth

EMPAC 2012-2013 presentations, residencies, and commissions are made possible by continuous support from the Jaffe Fund for Experimental Media and Performing Arts. Additional project support by the National Endowment for the Arts; the National Dance Project of the New England Foundation for the Arts with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; the New York State Council for the Arts; Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation with support from the National Endowment for the Arts; Arts Council Norway, Fond for Lyd og Bilde, and Fond for Utøvende Kunstner.

National Endowment for the Arts
NEFA - New England Foundation for the Arts
National Science Foundation
State of the Arts - NYSCA