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Design


EXPO Profile: Tim Sircoloumb

EXPO Profile: Tim Sircoloumb

: Photo by Mark Bocek.

EXPO Profile: Tim Sircoloumb

: EXPO: Cornish College of the Arts.

EXPO Profile: Tim Sircoloumb

: Photo by Mark Bocek.

EXPO Profile: Tim Sircoloumb

: Photo by Mark Bocek.

EXPO Profile: Tim Sircoloumb

: Courtesy Tim Sircoloumb.

EXPO Profile: Tim Sircoloumb

: Courtesy Tim Sircoloumb.

EXPO Profile: Tim Sircoloumb

: Courtesy Tim Sircoloumb.

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It’s at EXPO: a love of video game maps led design senior Tim Sircoloumb on a mission to rediscover his home town with a historical, interactive mapping project.

It was created on a computer, but it is as intricate and highly worked as an 18th century engraving. As Tim Sircoloumb (DE ’13) scrolls through the panels of his map, an entire visual history of Seattle’s development come to life. The project will move from a laptop in the airy design studio at Cornish to a large monitor at EXPO 13, the art and design senior exhibit for 2013 opening at the end of the month.

The map is so complex and yet so well-organized that it’s no surprised the clarity with which Tim talks of his work. “A lot of what I do comes from video games and a sense of adventure and play I get from looking at maps, their visual display of information,” he says “Look at a game like Sky Over Morowind. It has these massive maps, and you can go anywhere. So I started with kind of a love for the subjective or narrative way that information is displayed.”

Like a good number of Cornish students, Tim writes well, too. He recently was awarded a Centrum scholarship to work at a writers’ conference in Port Townshend.

Tim knew he wanted to do a project centered on the display of information using maps from the start. “I found the form before I found the content, which was a little backwards. I knew I wanted to make this kind of visual display of information and info-graphics. I kind of wanted to do a project that was interactive and immersive, and I was trying to find something relevant. I thought of something like Rome or some other civilization to map over time, but it wasn’t resonating with me. And it suddenly dawned on me that I knew shamefully little about Seattle, about the place I grew up. Choosing Seattle brought a relevance to the B.F.A. show and the community, and a personal relevance.”

Tim is the sort who thrives on taking in massive amounts of data and putting it back out as an easy-to-follow narrative. “It started out as a 1951 to 2013 thing,” says Tim. “Then some of the feedback I got was “what makes Seattle Seattle?” So I broke it up, I looked at industry, at culture, I started with the founding and the pioneer spirit. I asked myself ‘How do I show this great content in a way that makes sense?’”

Tim has learned the secret of less being more in his time at Cornish. “I started with this vision of making it very interactive,” he says, “making pop-up elements on the right and a bunch of animated features, maybe Easter eggs and pop-up text explaining all these events. But I started getting a little more realistic about what I could accomplish and more selective in what I wanted tell.”

“The beauty of narration is sometimes omission,” Sircoloumb says, tying in his attraction to maps. “That fits into what a map shows and doesn’t show. If it shows too much, it’s not really telling you anything, to an extent, if you can’t filter things out. So that was part of the theme of telling the story. It’s fairly simple, and I hope that that simplicity lends itself to a kind of elegance and ease of use.”

Tim Sircoloumb’s work will be projected large at EXPO, with an opportunity for exhibit-goers to interact. “I have this side room in the main gallery, and there’s kind of a dim light. I want people to be looking around in the main gallery and look in and see this glowing.”

EXPO 13: BFA Exhibition, May 10 – May 25, 2013, 5:00 pm on Cornish campus, Visual Arts Center.

EXPO 13 builds upon the annual BFA Exhibition, highlighting the depth and range of our students’ creative inquiry and expression at Cornish College of the Arts. The Art and Design shows serve as the keystone to an expanded schedule of events, including dialogue, performances, and artistic interventions. EXPO 13 celebrates the achievements of Cornish’s graduating seniors by acknowledging their contributions as professional artists and designers. Cornish is proud of their determination, hard word, and appetite for experimentation, as they turn their ambitions from school towards society. Congratulations to the class of 2013.


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