Christopher Baker

Datafizz (2009)

A Refreshing Social Effervescence

Vast amounts of unstructured data characterize the internet age. This continuous flow of data is largely invisible and incomprehensible without technological aids. In particular, data-mining and visualization technologies allow us to more readily discover new relationships and meanings within the data. Effective data visualization requires a sound understanding of both statistics and data architecture, while retaining a firm grasp on principles of human perception, theories of design and keen artistic sensibilities. Thus, data visualization has become an active locale for collaborations between scientists, sociologists, artists and designers.

The internet age is inherently social. Much of these unstructured data flows carry reflections and fragments of our online and offline presence to friends throughout the world. As we attempt to keep up with the social data flow, we must find new ways to organize both real and virtual aspects or our lives. Information architectures, interfaces, widgets and social networks begin to take on as much importance as urban conditions, built structures, objects and our social environment.

This project focuses on the continuous flow of social data fragments that herald our transitions between online and offline worlds. Each time a person goes comes online or goes offline, servers all over the world are alerted and these simple messages are transmitted to that person’s friends. While most of these transitions are ignored, our project captures this data in order to expand and dwell within the liminal spaces between our real and virtual worlds. This continuous and dynamic data flow inspired us to create an installation where these transitions are metaphorically represented by physical and nonphysical phenomena.

The installation consists of a water tank, a projection surface and electronics. Custom software tracks the on- and offline transitions of researchers at Kitchen Budapest. These on- and offline transitions are reflected in the appearance and disappearance of real and virtual bubbles. While the real physical bubbles cross the transitional space defined by the actions of people going on- and offline, the floating projected bubbles populate the territory of virtual presence.



Specifications

Medium

Custom Hardware, Custom Software, Video Projection

Dimensions

20 feet x 12 feet x 5 feet

Collaborators

  • Bujdosó Attila
  • Csík-Kovács Zoltán
  • Juhász Márton András
  • Sik Eduárd
  • Sipos Melinda

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