• Cinemetrics creates a visual fingerprint for movies

    January 12, 2012  |  Data Art

    Cinemtrics Fingerprints

    As we saw with movie barcodes, each film has a uniqueness that can be broken into bits of data. Cinemetrics, by Frederic Brodbeck, provides a different view.
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  • Bach Cello Suites visualized

    December 8, 2011  |  Data Art

    As a resident at Eyebeam, Alexander Chen visualizes the first Prelude from Bach’s Cello Suites:

    Using the mathematics behind string length and pitch, it came from a simple idea: what if all the notes were drawn as strings? Instead of a stream of classical notation on a page, this interactive project highlights the music’s underlying structure and subtle shifts.

    Interaction version here. Charming.

    [Alexander Chen via @blprnt]

  • Smiley installation shows the mood of a city

    December 2, 2011  |  Data Art

    Smiley in the city

    Project Stimmungsgasometer (say what?) is a giant smiley face that changes based on the mood of Berlin citizens. When they are collectively "happy" the light is a smile, and when they are not, it is a sad face. Input comes from facial recognition software that takes in video from a strategically placed camera. The software estimates whether passers by are happy or not, and then installation changes accordingly.
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  • Google Streetview stop motion

    November 24, 2011  |  Data Art

    Address is Approximate by Tom Jenkins tells the story of a lonely desk toy who goes on a road trip with Google streetview. I've watched this multiple times, and can't get enough. Beautiful and touching. [via]

  • History of the sky

    November 21, 2011  |  Data Art

    Ken Murphy installed a camera on top of the Exploratorium in San Francisco and set it to take a picture every ten seconds for a year. A History of the Sky is those pictures as a series of time-lapse movies where each day is represented with a grid. So what you see 360 skies at once:

    Time-lapse movies are compelling because they give us a glimpse of events that are continually occurring around us, but at a rate normally far too slow to for us to observe directly. A History of the Sky enables the viewer to appreciate the rhythms of weather, the lengthening and shortening of days, and other atmospheric events on an immediate aesthetic level: the clouds, fog, wind, and rain form a rich visual texture, and sunrises and sunsets cascade across the screen.

    Time-lapse: Yep, still fascinating.

    [murphlab via Data Pointed]

  • 24 hours of Flickr photos printed to fill a room

    November 15, 2011  |  Data Art

    24hrs of Flickr

    People upload thousands of pictures to Flickr every day, but the numbers and rates don't give the picture count justice. For the Future of Photography Museum in Amsterdam, Erik Kessels printed 24 hours of Flickr photos:

    As you might imagine, this results in a lot of images, that fill the gallery space in an avalanche of photos. "We're exposed to an overload of images nowadays," says Kessels. "This glut is in large part the result of image-sharing sites like Flickr, networking sites like Facebook, and picture-based search engines. Their content mingles public and private, with the very personal being openly and un-selfconsciously displayed. By printing all the images uploaded in a 24-hour period, I visualise the feeling of drowning in representations of other peoples' experiences."

    [Creative Review via Waxy]

  • Manual data design from Stefanie Posavec

    November 9, 2011  |  Data Art

    Designer Stefanie Posavec talks about her process of data collection, analysis, and design. There's a lot of advantages to knowing how to program, but there can also be value in meticulous manual discovery if you're willing to put in that extra time.

    Of course, it's still all about the data:

    So what inspires this level of analysis? "I'm interested in things that appeal to the really vigorous detailed aspect in me," she explains. "Everything I have done so far has revolved around things that I love such as books, language, maths and numbers. As long as I'm looking at something that I'm really interested in, it makes the days and hours of sifting through and analysing a subject easier."

    [Stefanie Posavec via feltron]

  • Microsoft envisions the near future in technology and interaction

    November 3, 2011  |  Data Art

    In a follow-up to last year's visions of the future, Microsoft imagines interacting with data and information in 2020. It is the land of big displays, linked devices, and projections in the real world. It's mostly from a productivity standpoint, but there's crossover to the everyday.

    To be honest though, all I really want are power laces, a self-drying coat, a flying car, and rehydrating pizza. I wouldn't mind a hover board either, but it's not urgent. I don't think that's too much to ask. I can deal with not being able to flick graphs in the air if it means getting the important things sooner.

    [Video Link via @juiceanalytics]

  • Facebook connections displayed in physical space

    October 20, 2011  |  Data Art

    Facebook connections

    For Facebook's F8 developer conference, creative agency Obscura Digital delivered the Connections installation. People could log in and see how they related to others through the eyes of circular visuals projected on the ground:

    Once “logged in” to Connections, a radial visualization, constructed from the user’s social graph data, surrounds them creating a unique “fingerprint”. Colored lines extend from the circles connecting people who share one or more of the observed metrics (mutual friends, interests, workplaces, schools, locations, birth sign, or non-English languages). When two or more people, who have mutual connections, stand within close proximity, a slideshow of mutual friends and interests appear between them.

    See it in action below. Take it a bit further, and I bet this could be a fun game. Or a novelty in a nerdy bar.
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  • #thankyousteve

    October 7, 2011  |  Data Art

    thank you steve

    Twitter engineer Miguel Rios pays tribute to the man, the legend. Zoomed out you see the portrait of Steve Jobs. Zoom in, and you see public tweets tagged with #thankyousteve sent out over a four and a half hour period on the evening of October 5. Tweets are ordered by number of retweets, left to right and top to bottom.
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  • Twitter users as organisms, Tweetures

    October 6, 2011  |  Data Art


    Twitter is a bustling place of tweets, retweets, and replies, and the growth and spread of news can be very organic. After all, there are actual human beings using the service. Kunal Anand, Director of Technology at the BBC, played on this idea of Twitter as an ecosystem and created Tweetures.
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  • Live data wall and immersive film at THINK exhibit

    September 28, 2011  |  Data Art

    Data Wall

    The THINK exhibit from IBM just opened up at Lincoln Center in New York, complete with data wall and immersive film. The former visualizes surrounding data in real-time, such as traffic, solar energy, and air quality. The formers puts you in a place with 40 seven-foot screens.
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  • Musical spectrum analysis

    September 22, 2011  |  Data Art

    Jon-Kyle Mohr visualizes the musical spectrum of a song in this mesmerizing video. As the song plays, frequencies bubble up in the 6-o-clock position, and the trace remains as the circle rotates.

    [Video Link via feltron]

  • You Are What You Eat

    July 22, 2011  |  Data Art

    Street Advertiser | San Antonio, TX | 1-Person Household | Lives

    The phrase "you are what you eat" usually refers to health and weight, but the food in your fridge can say a lot about who you are, what you do, and where you're from. Photographer Mark Menjivar used this premise in his series You Are What You Eat.
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  • Elements of Happiness: A happy life depicted in diagrams

    June 27, 2011  |  Data Art

    Elements of Happiness Cover

    For several decades, Harvard Laboratory of Adult Development has chronicled the lives of hundreds of men from adolescence through adulthood for "an unprecedented database of life histories with which to view the dynamic character of the aging process." Designer Laura Javier took ten of those cases and visualized them in the Elements of Happiness.
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  • Yacht design inspired by Voronoi diagram

    June 10, 2011  |  Data Art

    Voronoi superyatcht

    Industrial architect Hyun-Seok Kim, known for eccentric yacht designs, uses Voronoi diagrams as his latest inspiration:

    Still at the design stage, the 125-meter vessel is adorned with a complex lattice exterior that its designer, South Korean industrial architect Hyun-Seok Kim, says is based on an algorithmic diagram by Georgy Voronoy, a math professor who lived under the Russian empire during the late 1800s.

    I can't wait for the subsequent bar, pie, and treemap yachts. They will be glorious.

    [CNN via @shiffman]

  • Keyboard with keys raised by frequency of use

    June 9, 2011  |  Data Art


    Mike Knuepfel, a student in NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program, uses key frequency, according to Wikipedia, to build a keyboard sculpture. Taller keys equals higher frequency.

    Conclusions – This was just a first go at trying to create a data driven 3d sculpture. I wound up scaling the keys a little bit too much in the vertical direction. The weight of the tall keys caused the towers to tilt at an angle. I plan on showing this prototype to a few people that will hopefully give me more ideas for new data sets to look at. I want to try and use the CNC for future data driven sculptures. I also want to try and include color into the sculpture somehow.

    Not bad for a first run. My proposed next step: Sculpturize the entire computer. You've got your keyboard. Next use some tracking software for mouse button clicks, and then use this software to track the mouse pointer for a sculptured monitor.

    [Keyboard Frequency Sculpture via Boing Boing]

  • Aaron Koblin on visualizing humanity

    May 27, 2011  |  Data Art

    Aaron Koblin, Creative Director of Google's Data Arts team, shares some of the many projects that he's worked on his recent TED talk (video below). Even if you don't know the name, you've undoubtedly come across his work. The takeaway of his talk:

    An interface can be a powerful narrative device, and as we collect more personally and socially relevant data, we have an opportunity and maybe even an obligation to maintain a humanity and tell some amazing stories as we explore and collaborate together.

    It's not all facts and figures, dontcha know.

    [Video Link]

  • Art reproduction incongruencies

    May 12, 2011  |  Data Art


    When you think art reproduction, you probably think of something that looks almost identical to the original piece, but as Martin Wattenberg and Fernanda Viegas show in The Art of Reproduction, factors such as color and size can vary a lot:

    Curious just how far reproductions stray from each other, we began an investigation... For a set of famous artworks, we downloaded all the plausible copies we could find. Then we wrote software to reconstruct each artwork as a mosaic, a patchwork quilt where each patch comes from an individual copy.

    The above is a mosaic of reproductions of 21 Tears by Man Ray, and as you can see, the colors across reproductions span grayscale to green.

    Here's the reproduction for 22 Saints and Angels by Caravaggio. Again, notice the difference in shades. Edges aren't straight because different reproductions crop the original at different points.

    See the full gallery here.

    [The Art of Reproduction]

  • A century of deaths and a lot of fake blood

    May 12, 2011  |  Data Art

    100 years of world cuisine

    Rather than bars, bubbles, and dots, Clara Kayser-Bril, Nicolas Kayser-Bril, and Marion Kotlarski use jars, bottles, and bowls of fake blood to show deaths from 25 major conflicts in 100 years of world cuisine.

    Ten casualties. Ten million casualties. Our understanding of conflicts is often nothing more than a handful of digits, the more precise, the less meaningful. The anchor’s tone remains the same when talking about major wars or isolated outbursts of violence. The horror lays hidden beneath the rigidity of numbers. Figures give us knowledge, not meaning.

    We wanted to put a picture on these digits. A shocking, gory picture, like the reality of war. We wanted to give context, like a scale on which we could visualize each conflict next to the others.

    The idea is straightforward. More blood = more deaths during the corresponding conflict. What do you think—does the medium make the data more meaningful?

    The graphic is also available in print.

    [100 years of world cuisine via @moritz_stefaner]

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