Tony Abraham

Flying a kite.

I'm an artist, a writer, a coder, a thinker, an ice cream enthusiast, a biker, a cyclist, and a human being. If you'd like to chat, email me. If you'd like my professional resume, you'll find it right here.


UC Berkeley2014-2015

From January 2014-August 2015, I was part of the inaugural class for the Master of Information and Data Science program at the University of California, Berkeley. During this period, I completed vigorous graduate-level coursework in statistical analysis, data processing at scale, field experiments, interactive data visualization, machine learning, web services deployment, and natural language processing.

My capstone project explored the full spectrum of rap music over the past thirty years, examining trends in language and billboard chart placement. You can view it here.


Da Birds 2014

A group of birds. Is one different?

For the past few years, I've wanted to create pigeon sculptures that I could distribute around the city of Chicago. The purpose of this project is to create public art that is hidden in plain sight. If someone recognizes one of my pigeons as a decoy, perhaps it would alter their concept of their environment.

My intention was to design and then 3D print the pigeons, but I found that slow and cost-prohibitive. Earlier this year, I read an article about an artist who 3D printed a pixelated version of his daughter. I loved the concept and immediately applied it to my pigeons. The simplified shapes made them much easier to design and fabricate. I bought a band saw and began constructing simplified wooden pigeons in my garage.

Fast prototyping

Eventually, I dropped the pixelated look, but I kept the same method of production. It is fast and extremely cost-effective. My goal was to complete 100 pigeons this winter, and release them around the city in the spring.

Update (April 2015): Someone broke into my garage and stole all of my tools before I completed this project. I found no evidence for the police, but the birds in my neighborhood have seemed particularly chirpy recently. Suspiciously chirpy.

Don't worry, though. I have some new ideas I hope to implement soon.

A group of birds. One is an outcast.


Divvy Safety Video 2013

Divvy is Chicago's new bike sharing system, and it's a wonderful way to commute or explore. In September of this year, they hosted a contest for bike safety videos. I was thrilled to win the grand prize, even if it cost the life of one innocent piñata.


DWR Cork Chair 2013

Cork chair design.

Each year, Design Within Reach hosts a contest to see who can design the best chair from a champagne cork, foil wrapper, and wire cage. I played with scale in my design, and they awarded me an honorable mention for my submission.


Mobile Development2011-2013

iAnnotate Screenshot.

iAnnotate PDF is an award-winning iPad app that enables users to mark up their PDF documents as they would with paper copies. Over 1 million people use the app, and it has been consistently in the top ten grossing productivity apps for three years. I joined the iAnnotate team in 2011, coding Objective-C and guiding the app through two monumental UI refreshes, including a recent revision for iOS 7.


WBEZ 2011

In the fall of 2010, I seized the opportunity to intern at WBEZ, Chicago's public radio station. WBEZ is a radio station first and foremost, but they've long been interested in the potential of their web presence. They have plenty of audio content for their site, but they were lacking in original visual content. I designed and coded two widgets to help remedy that.

My election night widget graphed the returns for the Mayoral, City Treasurer, and Aldermanic races in the city. I coded the pie charts and city map using Raphaël, keeping this widget compliant across browsers and most mobile devices, which would have been impossible if I used Flash for development.

For the station's side project Changing Gears, I collaborated with a reporter to create an interactive timeline that charted the rise and fall of manufacturing workers in the Midwest. I wanted this project to be compliant across browsers and iOS devices, so I learned and used jQuery to implement the project and meet the client's vision.


Throw your thoughts away 2010

Throw your thoughts away.

"Throw your thoughts away" was an interactive installation at the Merchandise Mart that I created for Chicago's Art Loop Open. The idea was to help people clear their minds by visually disposing of a thought or memory. When a viewer sent a text message to the number on the piece, little scraps of garbage swooped into view, spelled out the viewer's message, and then scattered away.

I purposefully designed this piece to cater open-ended interactions. I wanted to observe the alternative uses people developed outside of the recommendation to "Throw your thoughts away." Examples included preaching religious tenets, propositioning attractive people in the vicinity, and touting the appeal of the McRib sandwich. I couldn't have been happier with the result.

Throw your thoughts away live view.


One a day 2009-2010

During this timeframe, I initiated a regiment of personal creative output. My plan was to produce something new every day to satisfy an inherent urge to create. This category will give you insight into the more playful aspects of my personality.

In the beginning, I paired photos with short stories on an index card format that I developed from scratch in HTML, CSS, and Javascript. You can see the first 100 of them here.

From there, I started writing even shorter stories on the underside of interactive matchbook covers. You can see those here.

After that, I started creating something new on the web each day using HTML5, PHP, and Javascript. A few highlights include this xerox book story, an anagram poem I created from a found sign, a series of fictional letters, stories involving the view master, and placing my words directly into photographs.


Trial graphics 2007-2010

As a litigation consultant with Chicago Winter Company, I occupied roles as a researcher, persuasive writer, designer, animator, and computer scientist. In focused collaborations, I completed dozens of multimedia trial presentations and tutorials. I developed a talent for crafting visuals that are persuasive, digestible, and tenable. I also honed my eye for those that do not meet these criteria.