• Human heartbeat

    March 26, 2014  |  Data Art

    Human heart beat

    Jen Lowe tracks her heart rate with a Basis watch, and she's showing the last 24 hours of that data in One Human Heartbeat.

    Basis doesn't provide an open API, so I access the data using a variation of this code. The heartrate you see is from 24 hours ago. This is because the data can only be accessed via usb connection. Twice a day I connect the watch and upload my latest heartrates to the database. I've been doing this for 33 days now.

    It's March 25, 2014, and statistics say I have about 16452 days left.

    On the surface, it's just a pulsating light on a screen, but somehow it feels like more than that. The countdown aspect makes me uneasy, as if I were watching a ticker on someone's life, or my own even. I want to keep watching though, because it continues to pulsate. It's hopeful.

  • Before and after lot vacancy

    March 6, 2014  |  Data Art

    vacated

    Justin Blinder used New York's city planning dataset and Google Streetview for a before and after view of vacant lots.

    Vacated mines and combines different datasets on vacant lots to present a sort of physical facade of gentrification, one that immediately prompts questions by virtue of its incompleteness: “Vacated by whom? Why? How long had they been there? And who’s replacing them?” Are all these changes instances of gentrification, or just some? While we usually think of gentrification in terms of what is new or has been displaced, Vacated highlights the momentary absence of such buildings, either because they’ve been demolished or have not yet been built. All images depicted in the project are both temporal and ephemeral, since they draw upon image caches that will eventually be replaced.

  • An exploration of selfies

    February 25, 2014  |  Data Art

    Selfie City

    Selfiecity, from Lev Manovich, Moritz Stefaner, and a small group of analysts and researchers, is a detailed visual exploration of 3,200 selfies from five major cities around the world. The project is both a broad look at demographics and trends, as well as a chance to look closer at the individual observations.
    Continue Reading

  • What a computer sees while watching movies

    January 28, 2014  |  Data Art

    Benjamin Grosser visualized how computers "watch" movies through vision algorithms and artificial intelligence in Computers Watching Movies.

    Computers Watching Movies was computationally produced using software written by the artist. This software uses computer vision algorithms and artificial intelligence routines to give the system some degree of agency, allowing it to decide what it watches and what it does not. Six well-known clips from popular films are used in the work, enabling many viewers to draw upon their own visual memory of a scene when they watch it.

    Above is the bag scene from American Beauty. Contrast this with the more frantic Inception scene, and you get a good idea of how it works. See computer-watching scenes for several more movies here.

  • Bird flight paths

    January 23, 2014  |  Data Art

    Dennis Hlynsky, an artist and a professor at the Rhode Island School of Design, recorded videos of flying birds and in post-processing shows previous flight positions for less than a second. The results are beautiful. It's like the video version of long-exposure photography.

    This is just one video in the series. Also see this, this, and this. [via Colossal]

  • Highway traffic reorganized by color

    December 20, 2013  |  Data Art

    In the video above, filmmaker Cy Kuckenbaker reorganized midday traffic by color. No computer-generated elements required.

    In this new video I took a four minute shot of state highway 163, which is San Diego's first freeway then removed the time between cars passing and reorganized them according to color. I was curious to see what the city’s car color palette looked like when broken down. We are a car culture after all. I was surprised that the vast majority of cars are colorless: white, gray and black. The bigger surprise though was just how many cars passed in four minutes of what looked like light traffic: 462 cars.

  • Your life in jellybeans

    November 27, 2013  |  Data Art

    Using the effective jellybean method, Ze Frank describes the finite time we have. Each bean represents a day in the life of an average person.

    Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

  • Roomba traces

    November 6, 2013  |  Data Art

    Radiolab roomba art

    We've seen what happens when you turn on a Roomba and track its vacuum path with long-exposure photography. The LED on top provides a point of focus, and the visual represents an odd blend of chaos and order. Above is what happens when you set different colored LEDs on seven Roombas and let them loose. Don't miss all the other (clean) messes in the Flickr pool. [via Radiolab]

  • Beauty of mathematics

    October 28, 2013  |  Data Art

    Betrand Russell: "Mathematics, rightly viewed, possesses not only truth, but supreme beauty — a beauty cold and austere, without the gorgeous trappings of painting or music." Yann Pineill and Nicolas Lefaucheux demonstrate in the video above. An equation appears on the left, a diagram in the middle, and the real-life version on the right.

  • Impressive exploration of projection mapping

    September 26, 2013  |  Data Art

    Projection mapping is the art of using physical objects as display surfaces and turning them into something else visually. This video of Box is an impressive demonstration of the technology.

    "Box" explores the synthesis of real and digital space through projection-mapping on moving surfaces. The short film documents a live performance, captured entirely in camera. Bot & Dolly produced this work to serve as both an artistic statement and technical demonstration. It is the culmination of multiple technologies, including large scale robotics, projection mapping, and software engineering. We believe this methodology has tremendous potential to radically transform theatrical presentations, and define new genres of expression.

    I would've thought this was CGI if I didn't know any better.

  • Treemap art

    September 11, 2013  |  Data Art

    Treemap art

    Ben Shneiderman invented the treemap in the 1990s to visualize the hierarchical contents of his hard drive. In the Treemap Art Project, Sheiderman approaches the tool from an artistic perspective. Each treemap in the 12-piece collection visualizes an actual dataset in a familiar artist's aesthetic.

    Colored rectangular regions have been a popular theme in 20th century art, most notably in the work of Piet Mondrian, whose work was often suggested to have close affinity with treemaps. Not all his designs are treemaps, but many are. His choice of colors, aspect ratios, and layout are distinctive, so simulating them with a treemap is not as trivial as you might think. Gene Davis' large horizontal paintings with vertical stripes of many colors were more easily generated with treemap layouts. The rectangles in Josef Albers “Homage to the Square” or Mark Rothko's imposing paintings are not treemaps, but generating treemap variants triggered further artistic explorations. Other modern artists such as Kenneth Noland, Barnett Newman, and Hans Hofmann gave further provocations to the images in this collection.

    [Thanks, Ben]

  • Beach Boys vocals visualized

    August 14, 2013  |  Data Art

    Alexander Chen visualized "You Still Believe in Me" by the Beach Boys.

    This is a visualization of Beach Boys vocals inspired by the physics of church bells. Using a mathematical relationship between a the circumference of a circular surface and pitch, I wrote code that draws a circle for each note of the song.

  • Listening to Zen-like Wikipedia edits

    August 12, 2013  |  Data Art

    Listen to Wikipedia

    It's easy to think of online activity as a whirlwind of chatter and battles for loudest voice, because, well, a lot of it is that. We saw it just recently with the burst of emojis and what happens in just one second online. But maybe that's because people tend to present the bits that way. Stephen LaPorte and Mahmoud Hashemi approached it differently in Listen to Wikipedia.

    The project is an abstract visualization and sonification of the Wikipedia feed for recent changes, which includes additions, deletions, and new users. Bells, strings, and a rich tone represent the activities, respectively. Unlike other projects that attempt to hit you with an overwhelmed feeling, Listen oddly provides a calm. I left the tab open in the background for half an hour.

    Listen is open source.

  • A study of quantified emotion

    July 31, 2013  |  Data Art

    Mike Pelletier experimented with quantified emotion in his piece Parametric Expression. This is what you get when you break facial expressions and mannerisms into bits: part human, part creepy.

    [via Boing Boing]

  • Physics of love

    July 24, 2013  |  Data Art

    Louise Ma, along with Chris Parker and Lola Kalman, started a six-part short video series on what love looks like. Above is the first one. This is part of an ongoing project that Ma started last year, and it's still going strong.

  • GPS shoes show you the way home

    July 23, 2013  |  Data Art

    GPS shoes

    Inspired by The Wizard of Oz, where Dorothy clicks her heels to get home, artist Dominic Wilcox created "No Place Like Home," a pair of GPS shoes to show you the way.
    Continue Reading

  • Movie sounds

    July 17, 2013  |  Data Art

    Moviesound is a goofy yet charming look at sounds in movies. Imagine sound waves visualized and then replace some of the spikes with illustrations that have to do with the movie of interest, and there you go. The project is mostly static posters, but the handful of short videos are the best. Here's the sound of Darth Vader breathing:

    The Jurassic Park poster is pretty good too.

  • Sensory augmentation device

    May 23, 2013  |  Data Art

    We've seen plenty of augmented reality where you put on some digitally-enabled glasses or point your camera phone on something and visuals are overlaid on reality. The augmentation is typically a layer on top.

    Eidos is a student project that tries taking this in a different direction. One piece applies an effect similar to long-exposure photography, and the other sends audio to your inner ear to focus on a subject and drown out ambient noise. See the devices in action in the video below.

    [via FastCo]

  • Putting today into perspective

    May 9, 2013  |  Data Art

    Here is today

    When you focus on all the small events and decisions that happen throughout a single day, those 24 hours can seem like an eternity. Graphic designer Luke Twyman turned that around in Here is Today. It's a straightforward interactive that places one day in the context of all days ever.

    You start at today, and as you move forward, the days before this one appear, until today is reduced to a one-pixel sliver on the screen and doesn't seem like much at all.

  • Color signatures for classic novels

    May 6, 2013  |  Data Art

    Jaz Parkinson made color signatures for classic novels. Basically, mentions of colors were tabulated and the results are shown as stacked bars, so it's fairly basic, but if you know the novels, these will mean something to you. For example, here are the signatures for Alice in Wonderland and Of Mice and Men.

    Alice in Wonderland Continue Reading

Unless otherwise noted, graphics and words by me are licensed under Creative Commons BY-NC. Contact original authors for everything else.