Alvin Chang

Data journalist and Professor at the New School
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These are essays, art installations and internet projects that I enjoyed working on.

The Listserve

Internet experiment
The Listserve is a massive internet list where, each day, one person won a lottery to write to everyone else. This five-year long project was covered by the Wall Street Journal, the New York Observer, Fast Company, Time, WNYC, and the New York Times. It was such a joy to conceptualize and execute on an overly ambitious idea with this wonderful group of people: Greg Dorsainville, Zena Koo, Yoonjo Choi, and Josh Begley. Our core value was that the internet needs quiet, intimate corners, and that's what The Listserve was.

When my dog died, I didn’t understand why it felt like a human had died. Then I read the research.

Vox.com
My very old dog died, and I dug into what I was feeling in a highly academic way. What I learned was something profound about humans relationship with dogs. To this day, I get dog lovers emailing me about this story and wanting to tell me about their dogs.

I trolled my IRS scammers for weeks. I learned something really dark.

Vox.com
During a one-week period, I got so many scam calls that I decided to see how far it would go. I still get a lot of scam calls. I talked to CBC Radio about this piece.

Draft lessons of NHL enforcers

Vox.com
My first job was as a writer and editor at ESPN Insider, and I ended up writing a lot about hockey. I wrote data-driven on the NHL draft, trying to figure out how teams can best build championship teams. But one day I stumbled upon an oddity: There were a bunch of players who weren't good by metric, but were paid millions of dollars to be on NHL rosters. Who were they? What was their purpose? How did they get there? They were enforcers.

Water bowl

Art installation
It looks like a mere bowl of water, but dip your hands in – deeper and deeper - and you'll hear something magical. It's one of my favorite projects I've worked on, in collaboration with Cyrus Von Hochstetter, Thutiphong Luangaroonlerd and Yoonjo Shin.

Channels

Art installation
Sit in a canoe, wade through water and explore a digital channel full of surpises. Made in collaboration with Suzanne Kirkpatrick and Ginny Hung.