This project makes connections between physical, crafted artefacts and graphical data visualisations. The work investigates the design of tangible objects as a representation of digital information, a rendering in physical form.
It questions whether the ‘crafting’ implied in the work occured before or during the creation of the physical artefact to understand how technological forms can also be crafted.
The work explored the visual and conceptual possibilities inherent in information visualisation to determine a more practical engagement with data. The use of technologies and applications that capture and shape digital information are pivotal in manipulationg data that could be used as a ‘material’ to work with. The result is the generation of tangible objects that respond to and reference their computational origins.
Instagram photos were plotted onto a graph using ImageJ, a tool for exploratory analysis of large image and video collections. Each photo was positioned along the vertical Y axis according to its brightness value and along the horizonal X axis according to its hue. The resulting visualisation is a representation and mapping of the tag #mosaic on a spectrum of hue and brightness. The preponderance of warm reds and oranges were the strongest colour range leading to speculation over the reason for this. This could relate to seasonal variation, use of ‘filters’ by Instagram, environmental or skin tone influences.
The imageJ visualisation was used as a structure and visual map to inform subsequent visualisations and consequently the creation of a tangible crafted piece.
Presented at AllMakersNow? conference, Falmouth University 2014
Published article “Crafting Data Stories” in the journal for All Makers Now? Craft Values in 21st Century Production. Conference Proceedings, Falmouth University, 2014