• A house that knows when you’re happy and sad

    August 30, 2010  |  Data Art, Self-surveillance

    Happylife by Auger Loizeau

    Auger Loizeau, in collaboration with Reyer Zwiggelaar and Bashar Al-Rjoub, describe their smart-home project Happylife. It monitors facial expressions and movements to estimate a family's mood, displayed via four glowing orbs on the wall, one for each member.
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  • Two-minute journey through the history of cinema

    July 29, 2010  |  Data Art

    Motion graphic on the history of film

    35mm, a short film by Sarah Biermann, Torsten Strer, Felix Meyer, and Pascal Monaco, strips 35 movies to their simplest form and cleverly strings them together in a set of motion graphics. From Singin' in the Rain, Titanic, and Jaws to Fight Club, Star Wars, and Terminator.

    Can you figure out all the movies portrayed? Test your movie wits in the video below. I only recognized two the first time around. I suck.
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  • Military budget contextualized with CGI tanks

    July 27, 2010  |  Data Art

    Cost of war through tanks

    It's no secret. The US military gets a lot of funding for manpower, weapons, equipment, security, so and so forth. Do you know how much money they'll have received come end of this year? I could tell you how many billions of dollars they get, or go the other way, and contextualize it by telling you what you could buy with that money - like the number of mosquito nets or pounds of food for the homeless.

    Moustache, a design and direction studio, goes with the context option in their short CGI video Softwar. Thousands of tanks are piled on top of each other to show just how much the military budget can buy.
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  • Field guide to typographic moustaches

    July 23, 2010  |  Data Art

    Typestaches infographic

    Sure, why not, let's make it a hairy Friday. From Tor Weeks: a series of moustaches styled by their typographic counterpart, aka typestaches. The big and bold typefaces like Federal and Wide Latin get thick and burly moustaches, while the more delicate typefaces, get thin and curvy.

    If only facial hair were as easy to select as fonts. I'd get myself a 24pt Mr. Century Ultra.

    Grab a print for yourself here.

    [via kottke]

  • Augmented reality taken to the extreme

    July 8, 2010  |  Data Art

    Augmented (hyper)reality

    Augmented reality, a computer trick to place the virtual within the real world, has barely cracked its way into most of our lives, but it's easy to see how such a tool could get out of hand. At some point, we're going to have to raise our hands and say, "Okay, stop that's enough information. My head hurts." Or will we? Recent architecture grad Keiichi Matsuda explores the possibility of an augmented (hyper)reality where information is everywhere you go (video below). Continue Reading

  • Facts and figures of London life

    June 30, 2010  |  Data Art

    24 hours in London

    Field Design takes a look at a day in London:

    LDN24 is a new public art installation for the Museum of London. It draws filmic impressions and the facts and figures of London life into a picture of 24 hours in the life of the city. Statistics and statements from the web and a huge database are printed along the LED screen by the seconds' hand of a 24 hours clock. Weather, traffic and news updates, the Thames' tides, Tube updates and recent fire incidents are pulled live from numerous RSS feeds, Twitter and news portals.

    I can easily see myself standing there entranced by the display for a long while - if I were from London. What I really want is a big circular display like for a day in the life of Nathan.
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  • Music animation machine

    June 25, 2010  |  Data Art

    Debussy, Clair de lune

    Anyone can listen to music, but how can you see it? The Music Animation Machine plays music (ancient MIDI files) and displays it in real-time. On the vertical are notes and time runs on the horizontal. Here's Debussy's classic Clair de lune, otherwise known as that song from the Ocean's 11 through 13 soundtrack, where they all gather at the fountain and give a nod of recognition to each other. Continue Reading

  • Taxonomy of the iPhone

    June 23, 2010  |  Data Art

    iphoneMap2-Heidegger-01

    Ben Millen diagrams the reach of the iPhone in our everyday lives:

    These are not maps in any conventional sense, but rather diagramatic representations of the interconnected space of technology, capital, instrumental value, exchange value, social and environmental impact that surround the device.

    The tube map metaphor is a little worn, but this is subtle, so it's not so bad. There are two maps. One covers the mechanics of the phone while the second is more about how consumers use the phone. The former is the more interesting one.

    So who's going to do the map for my 2004 Samsung flip? It takes a lickin' but keeps on tickin'.

  • Graphical data fiction

    June 21, 2010  |  Data Art

    Graphical data fiction

    We like to talk about the stories in data. They are the information and meaning in the numbers, and are meant to represent truth. Artist Kim Asendorf turns this around a bit and uses a series of made-up visualization pieces to tell a fictional story. It is the story of John.

    John is a scientist working in a corrupt lab called Sumedicina in Durham, North Carolina. The lab is in the business of selling vaccines, which is all well and good, but the problem is that they're the ones creating and spreading the viruses that their vaccines fight against. John is the lead scientist who creates these viruses.

    His conscience gets the best of him though, and he destroys the highly dangerous virus they are are currently working on and then quits. Sumedicina is having none of it. John is on the run. This is his story in data.

  • Twitter parade in your honor

    June 11, 2010  |  Data Art

    This is completely useless in the good sort of way. Twitter parade, by KDDI, takes your followers and throws a parade for you. You can also enter a keyword instead of a username. As the people march, their recent tweets are displayed.

    Thanks for the giant statue with the top half of my head, guys. Truly, the honor is all mine.

    [via datavisualization]

  • Review: Data Flow 2, Visualizing Information in Graphic Design

    June 8, 2010  |  Data Art, Reviews

    Review: Data Flow 2

    Note: The review copy I received is in French. Unfortunately, I only understand English. So this review is actually my impression of Data Flow: Design Graphique et Visualisation D'Informations as a picture book with titles, which in a way it kind of is anyways.

    Last year, the first Data Flow was published, featuring the data graphics of some fine designers. You can read my review of it here. Basically, if you liked the first Data Flow and could use some more inspiration, you'll probably like this second edition. The two are really similar in layout and in the way the graphics are split up. The title is exactly the same, save the 2.
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  • Twitwee the Twitter cuckoo clock

    May 19, 2010  |  Data Art

    I love it when data, or in this case, tweets, finds itself in physical objects. There's no reason data needs to stay plastered on our computer screens. Embed in the physical world as much as possible, I say. Haroon Baig, a communication designer in Germany, uses a clock that he calls Twitwee to cuckoo every time a tweet comes in matching a given query.

    This would get annoying really fast as it is now, but with a more refined filter or event recognition, this could actually be pretty useful.

    See Twitwee in action below.
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  • Design of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Masterpiece

    May 18, 2010  |  Data Art

    In 1934, American architect Frank Lloyd Wright designed Fallingwater, a house built partly over a waterfall. A couple of years ago, Smithsonian Magazine listed Fallingwater as one of the 28 places to visit before you die. Cristobal Vila, who himself has a knack for pretty things, animates the imaginary design and construction of Wright's famous building.

    Watch it unfold in the animated video below. Warning: after watching, you will have a very strong urge to visit.
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  • Dreaming in numbers

    May 10, 2010  |  Data Art

    I don't dream in numbers, but if I did, I'm pretty sure it'd look a lot like this. In Nature by Numbers, a short movie by Cristobal Vila, inspired by, well, numbers and nature, Vila animates the natural existence of Fibonacci sequences, the golden ratio, and Delaunay triangulation. Watch it. Even if you don't know what those three things are, the video will rock your socks off.
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  • Planets make sweet music together

    May 4, 2010  |  Data Art

    solar-system

    SolarBeat is an audiolization by Whitevinyl that makes music with the planets. Each planet is assigned a note. As the planets orbit, a note is played each time a year passes on that planet. Result: the planets make sweet, sweet music together.

    [via Information is Beautiful | Thanks, John]

  • Cultural colors of emotion and character

    April 30, 2010  |  Data Art

    Some colors represent different things in different parts of the world, while others are universal. For example, in movies, villains are almost always portrayed in black and passion is going to bring out the red. But what about death? American culture usually calls for black. Hindu calls for white. David McCandless and Always With Honor explore these differences.

    [Thanks, @augustjoki]

  • Connections among Twitter employees

    April 30, 2010  |  Data Art

    Because you can never get enough Twitter visualizations, Jason Stirman takes a look at the tweets among Twitter's first 140 employees. It's called 140 Characters [pdf]. Ha. Get it?

    Much like Chris Harrison's Bible viz, 140 Characters represents connections, or in this case mutual follows, with arcs. Employees are sorted by account creation date, and larger arcs represent an older employee linked with a newer one. The bar graph shows the number of tweets, relative to everyone else. For example, the engineers @al3x and @evan are quite active, along with newer employee @tiger. Good stuff.

    140 Characters is meant only as something pretty to look at, but to take a step in the more analytical direction, I'd try sizing the bars by relative number of mentions between the employees. For one, you'd see who's most "popular" and second, you might start to see the conversations within the group. I'd expect @ev and @biz to have a lot of @mentions, especially during presentations. Placing employees by creation time, instead of just order, could be interesting too.

    [Thanks, @MacDivaONA]

  • Clothing color palette

    April 20, 2010  |  Data Art, Self-surveillance

    Jacobo Zanella makes a color palette every day, based on the clothes he's wearing.

    I observe the colors of the shoes and clothes I wear that day, how much skin is exposed, etc., and reproduce that observation digitally, through RGB combinations. No software or programming is involved in the making of the graphs.

    String them all together, and you've got multi-colors on top (shirts), a lot of black and blue towards the bottom (pants), and whites and grays all the way on the bottom (shoes).

    Too bad he's not logging it programmatically. That could be an interesting view (well, for him).

  • Crowdsourcing Johnny Cash

    April 14, 2010  |  Data Art

    Aaron Koblin (along with Chris Milk) is up to his crowdsourcing mischief again. It started with sheep, then the dollar bill, to a bicycle built for two, and now the Johnny Cash Project. Along the same lines of Aaron's other projects, viewers are invited to draw an individual frame to the tune of Ain't No Grave. In the end, drawings are put together to create a whole new music video for the song. Select any illustrated frame to watch a person's drawing session.
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  • Wear the weather as a bracelet

    March 26, 2010  |  Data Art

    We all know that data is the new sexy, so it's only natural for data to find its way into jewelry. This weather bracelet represents a year of temperatures and rain. Peak heights are mapped to minimum and maximum daily temperatures, and the holes in the sides represent weekly rainfall.
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