Back in July, Studio NAND with Moritz Stefaner and Drew Hemment created emoto, an online web application that captured and visualised the excitement around the Olympic Games in London. The project moved from real-time (see our post) to ”Archive” data sculpture which is now on display at WE PLAY. Based on approx. 12.5 million Twitter messages which were aggregated in real-time, all the data gathered has been represented in physical form in this interactive installation which allows visitors to identify patterns in message frequency.
The emoto data sculpture represents message volumes, aggregated per hour and sentiment level in horizontal bands which move up and down according to the current number of Tweets at each time. The full install is a 9.50 meter long multi-layered print, designed for the visitor to explore the overall timeline of the Olympics. Th graph shows the average mood for all events and topics as tracked by emoto. It was printed on transparent acrylic glass and offset from the wall by approx. 7cm to reveal the content behind it. All messages were directly attached to the wall and have been selected for peaks in the graph based on the occurrences if the Tweet text.
From the emoto archive, the team aggregated frequencies of messages per hour and sentiment level into 2-dimensional heat maps. These heat maps were then transformed into 3D geometry using Rhino and finally CNC-milled in collaboration with their manufacturer Tischlerei Bächer using Polyurethane-foam (’Chemiwood’). Additionally, the objects were painted using a dual component paint with particles to optimise the surface for projection.
On top of this sculpture they have projected multiple heat maps, only displaying events for the currently selected theme (i.e. Team GB). A visitor could control which theme to show using a Griffin Powermate. Pressing the button would cycle through the themes. Rotating it would move the cursor along the timeline, showing most retweeted messages for each hour and theme. The projection mapping was custom developed in Processing as part of the installation software. The 2D heat-maps were generated in Tableau and used as textures for the mapped virtual geometry. The final outcome for these textures was designed in multiple quick iterations exploring the use of many geometric shapes for the heat maps.
See also Reflection II by Benjamin Maus & Andreas Nicolas Fischer
- Emoto captures and visualises the excitement around the Olympic Games The emoto project captures and visualises the excitement around the Olympic Games in London 2012. The web application moves from real-time (web-based visualisation and mobile app you can try now) to "Echo" (sensory installation, during the Paralympics) to "Archive" (data sculpture, at the Cultural Olympiad closing event). Our real-time data visualisation shows both the big picture, the world from above, and the intimate and personal. In topics view, we see the big picture, which event, athlete or topic is generating the most attention in the moment, and the mix of positive and negative emotions for each. The anecdotal and ephemeral is seen in the message stream view. An overview on each day shows an even bigger picture, the trends and patterns. This is a whole new way to experience and make sense of the pulse of the Games. Emoto project was created by Moritz Stefaner, Drew Hemment and Studio NAND, and is a FutureEverything project with MIT Senseable City Lab for the London 2012 Festival and Cultural Olympiad in the […]
- On Journalism #2 Typewriter by Julian Koschwitz Created by Julian Koschwitz, "On Journalism #2 Typewriter" installation writes generative stories about journalist killed worldwide between 1992 and today. The individual stories are typed on a continuos piece of paper, connected through common fields of coverage, places and published work. The data arrives directly from the Committee to Protect Journalists and is also the basis for an additional magazine where a set of data graphics explain the abstract numbers. After loading the data in Processing one journalist is chosen as a start. The information about this journalist is enriched with some web searches (on cpj.org, google news, google search) to get additional information. This collected information is refined using Processing and put into a short "story". Then each letter is translated into the equivalent solenoid number which is connected to the letter of the typewriter. This number is being sent from Arduino to a shift register (each is connected to 8 solenoids) which then triggers the solenoid (each solenoid the "fires" depending on the content either fast or slow, meaning in a frequency between 100ms and 1s). The installation is also accompanied by a set of prints which highlight specific aspects like the state of freedom of the press in certain countries. Project […]
- Daytum [iPhone, WebApp] Created by Nicholas Feltron and Ryan Case, Daytum for iPhone is complementary application for Daytum web app to track your daily activities. iPhone app allows you to add, edit and view entries to help collect and communicate the most important stats in your world. Daytum was originally conceived by Ryan Case and Nicholas Felton as an elegant and intuitive tool for counting and communicating personal statistics, inspired by Nicholas Felton's "Annual Reports" which he has been making since 2005. The iPhone app adopts the beautiful and familiar cyan and grey palette offering all the features you'd expect for inputting and tracking data on the go. Within the app, the entries page features an entry field and a list of recent entries. Tapping an item name or entry amount will link to their detail views. By swiping across an entry, you can quickly choose to re-add that item and amount at the current time, or choose to edit or delete the entry. The main item and category views are scrollable lists. Tap the button at the top of the page to add a new item or category. Click on an item or category to visit its detailed view, or swipe to quickly reveal edit and delete options. Not only can you add data quickly but also the app allows you to visualise the same data in beautiful graphs. Selecting an item or category from the list view loads the graph view. Dragging the handles below the graph allows for the default 2 week range to be adjusted. Drag over the graph to see the entry total for a specific day. In addition there is favourites view, a place to keep frequently referenced graphs. Save an item or category here by pressing the star icon on a graph. When it's blue, the graph has been saved to your favourites. As it can be expected, Nicholas and Ryan have done a wonderful job with the app. Although utilising in a lot of instances standard UIKit elements, there are tweeks and quirky elements that give the app unique feel. Some may miss the minimal feel of the web app, myself included, but the iPhone app seem to make the best of the two worlds. UI is light, fast and functional. Tracking your data requires discipline and persistence. My only concern with tools such as this has always been that they required 100% commitment which Nicholas is known for (see video below). I would love to see features added to the web app which allows you to pull activities from other sources such as RSS or Flickr, something that Momento does. The actual how this data can be filtered may be related to keywords or hashtags but never the less it would be great way to collect, analyse and reflect upon your activities. For the time being, Daytum relies much on your persistance to be able to reach a point and enought data is collected. With the knowledge that API is on it's way we can rest assured that most of the things I just mentioned are on the way. iPhone app is just the first step in that direction, using oAuth and undocumented and currently private API. To summarise, Daytum is a fantastic way to collect and track important stats. iPhone app is a wonderfully made and designed iPhone app to complement Daytum service. Considering it's free, including the web service which is also free, limited to 1000 entries giving you enough reason to try it. Should you feel this is something you'd like to continue using, a tiny fee of $4 a month should be no deterrent whatsoever. Platform: iPhone Version: 1.0 Cost: Free Developer: Daytum See also your.flowingdata […]
- Dokfest Forest Identity [Processing] For the 26th edition of the Kassel Documentary Film and Video Festival, FIELD designed an identity based on the festival’s film submission database. Set in a thick and obscure forest like the wooded surroundings of Kassel, the colourful spheres form a sculptural representation of the programme – each of them represents a film, video, or installation work shown at the festival. A unique structure emerges from the forest when hundreds of these individual objects come together – like the festival brings together artists and visitors from all over the world, regional talent and established filmmakers, professionals and interested locals. Each film is represented by a sphere, with the size showing the length of the work. When two films coincide in all 3 parameters, meaning their spheres would sit in the same position, they cluster around this position like grapes on a vine. A generative colour palette assigns a unique shade to each represented work, which it keeps throughout all diagrams. The forest in the images was rendered using luxrender and took about 8 hours on a large amazon ec2 instance. Geometry was generated in a custom Processing application and then imported into Blender. See images below + make sure you visit field.io for more wonderful work by the London based studio. For more great Processing projects on CAN, see […]
- Windcuts [Processing, Objects] The "Windcuts" are experiments by Miska Knapek in turning sensor data into physical instantiations, via Processing and an NC Milling machine (a computer controlled drill, for the rest of us ). Wind movement measurement data (wind direction, velocity and temperature) was used to generate a 3d form, which was then cut out of wood. The MDF cuts you see below represent five days of wind. The direction of the line is the wind's direction. The width and speed of movement is the wind speed. And the height is the temperature. More image and videos of the piece being cut are […]
- Bloom – Urban toy invites participants to ‘seed’ new formations Commissioned by the Greater London Authority as part of Wonder series that are celebrating Olympics and Paralympics, Bloom is designed and developed by Alisa Andrasek and Jose Sanchez from The Bartlett School of Architecture at UCL. Designed in neon pink (the official Olympics color), Bloom is conceptualized as an urban toy that seeks the engagement of people in order to construct Bloom formations. An initial aggregation developed by the designers will show participants the possibilities of the system through the main “portal” of the game constructed by designers. People are able to add the pieces to the initial structure to alter its form as well as start seeding new ground sequences that can be used as urban furniture such as seating or simply unpredictable formations. The module available in a single shape and size allows multiple configurations. Prototyped using recursive aggregation scripts done with Processing, Rhino 5 / Python and Grasshopper, the final installation is the result of thousand of pieces put together recombining the 3 different connections in each cell. Participants build a ring, a spiral or a distributed branch. Manufactured in Chile by Atomplast. The first installations were shown at Victoria Park in the East End and at main quad at University College London. Third installation will be erected near the National Portrait Gallery in Trafalgar Square during the Paralympics, from August 28 to October 9. Project Page | Alisa Andrasek | Jose […]
- ‘Point Cloud’ – Arduino structure by James Leng breathes weather data Created by James Leng, Point Cloud is an attempt to re-imagine our daily interaction with weather data. Even with the modern scientific and technological developments related to weather and when we can deploy sophisticated monitoring devices to document and observe weather, our analysis and understanding of meteorology is still largely approximate. Weather continues to surprise us and elude our best attempts to predict, control, and harness the various elements. Point Cloud builds on this premise, exploring new ways to interpret and understand weather data. Weather has always had a unique place in our lives, because it has a multiplicity that encompasses both the concrete and the indeterminate. It is the intangible context within which we build our lives and our cities, but it is also the physical element against which we create protective shelter. Most of the time it is an invisible network that we can see but are not aware of; yet it can manifest in a spectacle or disaster, come forward and activate our senses, make us forget our rationality in delight or fear. Point Cloud is a sculptural form defined by a thin wire mesh, driven asynchronously by 8 individual servos controlled via Arduino. As whiteness of the hanging structure begins to disappear into the background, the viewer is treated to a constantly morphing swarm of black points dancing through midair. In the current prototype, the speed, smoothness, and direction of rotation are modulated to interpret a live feed of weather data. Instead of displaying static values of temperature, humidity, or precipitation, Point Cloud performs the data, dynamically shifting between stability and turbulence, expansion and contraction. flickr […]
- Miebach and Posavec – Data, Visualization, Poetry and Sculpture Visualizations are created to make data more legible. They are intended to give us a neutral portrait, so to speak, of how collections of data relate to each other. In so doing, they make information accessible to us that would otherwise be obscured by its scale in a manner that is easily comprehended. Data is presented to us exactly for what it is so that it may foster the communication of information through the recognition of connections or relationships. This method of attempting to show data in an unadulterated, albeit creative way sees data more as its subject matter than its raw material. As laudable as this effort is, data as representation does not have to be the only way visualization is approached. Nor should a traditional visualization ever necessarily be perceived as the full picture. It should always be understood that there is an elusive, human, element, whether knowledge or otherwise, embedded in what is being communicated. For artists such as Nathalie Miebach and Stefanie Posavec, the notion of visualization becomes more broadly defined and expressive. Both women spoke at this year's Eyeo Festival and during their talks expounded upon and expanded the definition of data visualization proper. Firstly, for each the ability to work with their hands or to be able to tactilely interact with something visualized was very important. For Miebach the inability to touch a visualization or to fully explore it with the contours of her hand made it difficult to truly comprehend. Posavec acknowledged there were different emotions associated with hand-making something and making something with a machine. While it might seem odd to focus on the hands when talking about visualizations it is important to understand the approach to it as modeling an object or design out of a raw material rather than to merely attempt to show it. The hand or body as a human experience that is something that can be lost in the flatness of a digital image, interactive or otherwise. Take Miebach's sculptures for example. She uses as her subject matter weather data from various environments and histories. She then either translates it into music or into colorfully elaborate weaved sculptures. For the sculptor cum visualist there is a subjective appeal to how she generates her creations. Whereas typical visualizations are “'didactic” in how they present data she calls her sculptures ”poetic”. She takes joy in the ability to walk around and explore the sculptures rather than sacrifice that dimensionality to the computer screen. For her it's as important to foster an experience with the data as it is to discover new connections. Instead, in the same way folk stories preserve history, she creates narratives that contain traces of information. During her talk at Eyeo she asked whether fact and fiction could coexist and whether information becomes fictional by blending them together. The expression data in service of telling story becomes tantamount to their presentation. Like an abstract painting that does not come right out and say what its about but instead provides parameters for interpretation, her sculptures turn information into a panoply of meaning. By that same token, Stefanie Posavec takes a similar, yet opposite approach. She uses fiction to generate data instead of the other way around. Using novels such as Kerouac's On the Road she employs what she calls “data illustration” to trace patterns in the writing. By personally exploring the texts, she 'visualizes' styles and themes that reveal themselves to her within the immanent space of the book. The content of the book intermingles with her own personal traversal of the text to generate a new way of generating meaning from the 'data' that is already there. A new way of reading then begets a series of colorful illustrations that document her experience. At Eyeo she characterized data as a lens for which to see a subject from an entirely new angle. The angle becomes primary over the data as a tool to see or as she calls it, a "souvenir of human engagement." Posavec is then able to navigate a text, such as The Origin of Species, using data to discover design solutions, as she says, where informational insights aren't the main purpose of the visualization. Taking the edits and updates between different editions of Darwin's famous text she generates imagery that is aesthetically related to the subject matter in the form of botanically and organically inspired abstract images. In both cases, data is not the primary focus of what is being visualized but springboard into something not as scientifically well-wrought but on the contrary is much more human and intangible. They are about not just seeing in a new way, but also creating new objects out of what already exists perhaps in contrast to the character of the so-called New Aesthetic. They are not satisfied with simply foisting a singular means of seeing the world upon us but offering something more shifting and elusive. They are bodily insofar that Miebach's sculptures can be touched and walked around and Posavec's designs are generated out of the physical effort of drawing them out over time. We don't just look and see an image but something that we cannot immediately appertain and qualify. For both artists there is a kind of meaning the data can generate but that isn't necessarily in the data itself. Data visualization is already in some cases an abstract enterprise in how the data is presented. However, in the same way that representational art sought to imitate the appearance of something that exists in real life, so too do representational visualizations. A standard visualization practice typically involves taking a large amount of data that is incomprehensible to an individual on a macro level and presenting it in such away that it is both visually appealing and legible. Often the former effort is an extension of the latter wherein an appeal to aesthetic sensibilities generates an interest in the data that is being showcased. In other cases it is a matter of finding the visual design that most clearly presents the data. In contrast, the data expressionism of Miebach and Posavec doesn't attempt to neutrally visualize the data they are using. And whereas data representations refer to themselves insofar that they are visualizing their own raw material as subject matter, data expressionism uses data more as a starting point to suggest something that is indefinable and ambiguous, yet still truthful. Representationalist visualization is all about pattern recognition and stopping at those patterns as enough to generate understanding. However, there will always be a danger that those patterns subsume what they are intended to represent on a superficial or limited level. Miebach and Posavec remind us that as important as data is for certain ends we cannot forget what could potentially exist beyond the mere image in the form of human experience. Stefanie Posavec: itsbeenreal.co.uk | Nathalie Miebach: nathaliemiebach.com -- Author: Dylan Schenker is a writer based in New York City interested in new media art, culture and theory. You can find him on fragmince.tumblr.com and […]
Posted on: 21/09/2012
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