The top graphic makes abstract art out of the concert going experience – and it’s funny, too. It’s a translation of an experience into a visual in an unexpected way, something that Andrew Kuo is now widely known for, at least when it comes to music.
The bottom graphic about band names is a good example of a more standard translation – more and more people like graphics like these because they allow for the communication of relativity. Let me try to explain in words what Kuo so easily explains in his picture. All of these band names have something in common – they’re sort of odd. But some of them are far more odd, or at least they were before we got used to them, than others. Death Cab for Cutie is farther out there than, say, MGMT. I could go through and type out the relative odd-ness of all the band names. But you’re better off just getting the same information in a fraction of the time by looking at Kuo’s graphic.
What needs work
These graphics rely too heavily on the text.
Kuo, Andrew. (2009, October 23) “Waiting and Watching The XX at CMJ” [blog post] at New York Times ArtsBeat blog.
Kuo, Andrew. (2008, June 8) “Lollapalooza, 2, 12 August 1992, in Waterloo Village, NJ [as closely as I remember it]” [chart] at New York Times.