• Disney Research makes plants interactive

    August 15, 2012  |  Data Art

    Botanicus Interacticus from Disney Research turns plants into multi-touch surfaces, simply by placing an electrode in the soil.

    Botanicus Interacticus has a number of unique properties. This instrumentation of living plants is simple, non-invasive, and does not damage the plants: it requires only a single wire placed anywhere in the plant soil. Botanicus Interacticus allows for rich and expressive interaction with plants. It allows to use such gestures as sliding fingers on the stem of the orchid, detecting touch and grasp location, tracking proximity between human and a plant, and estimating the amount of touch contact, among others.

    And then botany education changed forever.

    [via Boing Boing]

  • Paintings as pie charts

    August 10, 2012  |  Data Art

    Ten years, ten artists

    Expanding on his Vincent van Gogh pie charts, Arthur Buxton minimalized famous paintings from ten artists into more of everyone's favorite chart type. The color distribution of each pie represents the five most used shades in each painting. Like the first time around, you're either loving this or foaming at the mouth.

  • Celebrating the joy of metering

    August 8, 2012  |  Data Art

    Compass Brooch

    Meters, by Berlin-based designers Patrick Kochlik and Monika Hoinkis, celebrates the joy of measuring for the sake of measuring. The pieces include a compass brooch and a bubble level that you wear as a watch, which is nice because everyone likes to know where they're going while walking a level surface.

    [via infosthetics]

  • Short film imagines life with data and constant digital

    August 8, 2012  |  Data Art

    In the what-happens-when-technology-takes-over-our-lives genre, Sight by Eran May-raz and Daniel Lazo, imagines a world where we wear contacts that augment our reality at such a high level that digital becomes physical. Life becomes a game, and everything is gamified, including an incredibly awkward date. But wait, there's an app for that.

  • Olympic rings as data symbols

    August 3, 2012  |  Data Art

    Artist Gustavo Sousa used the Olympic rings as data indicators for statistics like obesity, homicides, and number of billionaires. Each ring represents a continent, and the larger the ring, the larger the value. Simple and an interesting metaphor shift.

  • What planets would look like if they replaced our moon

    August 3, 2012  |  Data Art

    Artist Brad Goodspeed imagined what the planets would look like if they were to orbit Earth, in place of the moon. His math is iffy, but the video is fun to watch.

    [via kottke | Thanks, Thomas]

  • Worldwide mood around London 2012

    July 27, 2012  |  Data Art

    Olympic mood

    No doubt there is going to be a lot of tweeting about the Olympics during the next couple of weeks, but sometimes it's hard to get a sense of what people are talking about because of the high volume. Emoto, a team effort by Drew Hemment, Moritz Stefaner, and Studio NAND, is a Twitter tracker that aggregates sentiment around topics.
    Continue Reading

  • Charts describe love and relationships

    July 17, 2012  |  Data Art

    Love and time

    Love is complicated. It twists, it turns, and sometimes it smacks you in the face so hard you lose track of where and when you are. Artist Louise Ma diagrams these many facets of love and relationships in her ongoing project What Love Looks Like.

    [Thanks, Rich]

  • Sonification of Stanley Cup goals

    July 10, 2012  |  Data Art

    Artist Bard Edlund sonified the goals during the 2012 Stanley Cup.

    The goals tally cumulative scoring for each team (rather than goals against). When a puck crosses the goal line, a musical note plays. There's one instrument sound for Western Conference teams, and another for Eastern Conference teams. Higher-seeded teams are assigned a higher pitch. This means you can actually hear whether higher- or lower-seeded teams are scoring more, and if Western or Eastern Conference teams are producing more goals.

    The beat in the background almost makes it sound like an actual song.

  • Infographic essay on the meaning of life

    June 28, 2012  |  Data Art

    Information video designer Marco Bagni abstracted the meaning of life in his short video, Getting Lost. It doesn't show real data, placing it in the genre of Chad Hagen's nonsensical infographics, so this piece by Bagni is interesting not for the information it shows but how he used infographics as a way to express a message: "Getting lost is only way to find your own path."

    [Thanks, Nigel]

  • 857 empty desks on National Mall used to represent high school drop-outs

    June 22, 2012  |  Data Art

    Empty chairs

    As part of their campaign to prioritize education and get presidential candidates talking about it, the College Board setup 857 empty desks on the National Mall to represent the estimated number of high school drop-outs per hour. Although a simple physical installation, it carries a lot of weight.

    [via @Periscopic]

  • Art using inlaid maps

    June 15, 2012  |  Data Art

    Matthew Cusick uses maps as his brush and palette in a series of portraits and landscapes. Pretty.

  • River flow simulation

    June 14, 2012  |  Data Art

    Flow of Tyne

    In Newcastle, there's a floating tide mill building on the River Tyne. The mill turns to generate power for the building, and in that flow of water are four sensors for oxygen, acidity, nitrates and salinity. Values for these metrics, along with wheel speed, are captured about every thirty minutes. Stephan Thiel of Studio NAND, in collaboration with Moritz Stefaner, visualized this data in an abstracted simulation of the flow through the tidemill.

    Particles are continuously moving from right to left, being attracted or repelled by four circular zones representing the sensor values. The overall behavior of the particles is influenced by the turning speed of the waterwheel. If the value of one sensor is above its mean value, particles are repelled. If the value is below the mean, particles are attracted towards the center of the zone.

    For example, if all four values are greater than the mean, you end up with four circular swells around these zones. In the above, oxygen is below the mean, so the simulated flows head towards the center of the oxygen zone instead of move around it like with the three zones before. So you end up with a sort of fingerprint for each window of data capture.

    The data itself is probably of little interest to anyone who doesn't work at the mill, but the aesthetics of the piece is calming and certainly evokes the context of what the data represents.

    The wind map by Wattenberg and Viegas and Drawing Water by Wicks come to mind. Oh, and also perpetual ocean.

  • Tasty Tweets makes smoothies based on trending fruits

    June 1, 2012  |  Data Art

    During a one-week visualization course at the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design, Kat Zorina, Ruben van der Vleuten, and Kostantinos Frantzis put together a working prototype that makes smoothies based on mentions of fruit on Twitter.

    Using the Twitter API, it collects tweets containing mentions of specific fruits such as blueberry, pineapple, apple and carrot and creates a smoothie that represents the blend. The smoothie is created based on the same proportions of fruits collected from the tweets. Because twitter trends change quickly, each smoothie has a unique palette of flavors.

    Next steps: a blender that provides variable consistency like chunky versus completely blended, a scoop of sherbet, and free energy boost. Oh, the possibilities.

    [via @golan]

  • Typewriter installation remembers killed journalists

    May 31, 2012  |  Data Art

    Typewriter installation

    Julian Koschwitz uses a typewriter linked to data from the Committee to Protect Journalists to generate stories about those who have fallen doing their jobs.

    The typewriter installation On Journalism #2 Typewriter writes generatively constructed stories about all journalist who have been killed worldwide between 1992 and today based on the existing data of their lives as well as their published work. The individual stories are connected through common fields of coverage, places, professions and many other aspects. Besides the text the typewriter creates also images e.g. flags which are heavier distorted the more journalists got killed in that particular country.

  • Meshu makes physical objects with your location

    May 30, 2012  |  Data Art

    meshu-jewelry

    Location data typically stays within the realm of online maps and digital check-ins, but in many ways it's the most personal data that you can find. It represents where you are, where you've been, and where you're going. Meshu, by Sha Hwang and Rachel Binx, is a project that takes this sentiment to heart.

    Select and enter locations on a map or grab your check-ins from foursquare to create your own piece of unique jewelry — necklace, earrings, or cufflinks. Once you've got your design, you have your choice of acrylic, wood, nylon, and silver and you can pick from a variety of colors for each material. Hit complete, they'll fabricate it, and you've got your own personal snapshot of life.

  • Relational ornaments

    May 20, 2012  |  Data Art  |  Kim Rees

    textile visualizattion

    Gundega Strautmane, a Latvian textile artist and designer, visualizes social and physical networks in a show called Relational Ornaments. The networks are created using various sized pins to depict nodes and threads connecting them to show relationships. Bringing visualization into the tactile world lends it a weight not able to be achieved on a computer screen. It allows the viewer to pause, spend time with the information, feel it, sense it in a more holistic way. The placement of pins and threads is imprecise because they are placed by hand giving the work a very natural, organic feel rather than the rigidity of the exact calculations of programming.

    [via The Network Thinkers]

  • The Descriptive Camera

    May 16, 2012  |  Data Art  |  Kim Rees

    descriptive camera output

    The unassuming little Descriptive Camera made me rethink data. This project by Matt Richardson was on display at the ITP Spring Show. The basic premise is that you take a photo and the camera spits out a textual description of what it sees. The results are remarkably accurate, detailed, and humorous.
    Continue Reading

  • Stop motion music video

    May 11, 2012  |  Data Art

    Music visualization with stop motion board games. You can't go wrong.

    [via @jcukier]

  • Mad Men as thousands download via bittorrent

    April 20, 2012  |  Data Art

    The BitTorrent protocol lets groups of people download parts of a single file from each other, so instead of one file from a single source, you get multiple bits from different places. Artist Conor McGarrigle shows this activity via an episode of Mad Men, as it's downloaded.

    The video captures an episode of the popular TV show in the act of being shared by thousands of users on bittorent with the corruption of the file a direct result of the bittorrent protocol. The video acts as a visualisation of bittorrent traffic and the practice of filesharing and avoids infringing the copyright of Madmen as it is incomplete. Curiously the greater number of simultaneous users sharing the file the more aesthetically pleasing are the distortion effects.

    Poetic almost.

    [via Waxy]

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