John Beebe-West


I make things with words, code, and music.

Words, Words, Words

I write articles at Quartz and elsewhere about the bright future and bleak present of news and digital writing. I send an email newsletter very occasionally about the internet's insatiable appetite for attention. I have both a blog and a microblog.

Work, charted

My visualizations have been published at FiveThirtyEight and Quartz; in debate briefing books for the moderators of the 2016 Presidential Debates; in two acclaimed projects for Et Cetera GalleryKiss List, the story of one artist's first kiss with everyone she ever kissed and Knock at the Gates, an exploration of the history of the death penalty in the United States; and just for fun. I love standalone visualizations, especially if they formatted as GIFs. I have a GitHub and a website with many projects—both maintained and not. I design books and love art made by code.

Gainful Employment

Currently, I work as a data science and technology consultant at The Wall Street Journal's R&D lab. I am also the on-haitus co-founder and technical director of Et Cetera Gallery, a hub for digital and IRL narrative experiments. Previously, I was a narrative technologist at Cortico and a data journalist and news application developer at the Laboratory for Social Machines at the MIT Media Lab. Before that, at Quartz, I was a growth engineer on the product team and the lead advertising software engineer for the business side. When I was young, I was an engineer and interim CTO of a now-defunct tech startup. I co-founded a student run college press and was the editor-in-chief of Wilder Voice, a magazine for longform journalism and creative nonfiction at Oberlin College. I also tutored folks on their writing. Before that, I was a baby.

Musica Universalis

With Et Cetera Gallery, I composed, curated, and produced an operatic experience called King of that Also. I have programmed several full-length concerts that aim to build coherent narratives using disparate songs as the base unit. I was a finalist in the 2009 Montreal International Recorder Competition, where I won an award for creativity in programming and took fourth place; I soloed with the Oberlin Baroque Orchestra in 2011; and, in 2012, I performed in the Danenberg Honors Recital, which showcases "the full range of musical excellence found at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music." I still play.

The Old College Try

I hold a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from Oberlin College, a Performance Degree in Historical Performance from Oberlin Convservatory, and a Masters in Fine Arts in writing from the Bennington Writing Seminars at Bennington College.