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IBM employees building a smarter planet

by Critical Commons Manager

The centerpiece of IBM's Let's Build a Smarter Planet advertising campaign is a series of videos created by the Santa Monica-based design firm Motion Theory that uses motion graphics to simulate the visualization of complex data flows in crucial realms such as health care, transportation and energy. However, data is only as valuable as the humans who are trained to interpret and act on it. IBM acknowledges this with this series of videos highlighting their employees who are working on building a smarter planet by transforming raw data into usable information, knowledge and ultimately wisdom. Highlighting the quality of its employees has been a long-standing strategy in IBM's public relations and marketing. These videos are stylistically very different from the Motion Theory visualizations, using multiple split-screens and cut-up editing to create fragmented composites of what are presumably supposed to be "real" IBM employees. Some of the videos deploy a disquieting stylistic that places subjects in profile, reminiscent of a 19th century Bertillon card or contemporary mug shot; at other times, the videos dwell on parts of faces -- eyes, nose, mouth -- also calling to mind the physiognomic photography of Bertillon and others seeking a scientific system for categorizing parts of the human body for purposes of criminological identification.

IBM Why Data Matters

Analyzing and making sense of data for IBM's Smarter Planet campaign

from Why Data Matters (2010)
Creator: IBM
Distributor: IBM
Posted by Critical Commons Manager