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w h e n · t h e · c h i p s · a r e · d o w n

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The following dataviz explores the checked out items from the Seattle Public Library around two important recent events in US history: the Boston marathon bombings (2013) and the capture of Osama Bin Laden(2011).

[ download a more detailed description about the project ]







I want to tell a story. Even if some very specific categories returned zero results, the silence of emptiness means something. This is why the appearance of the graphic components is animated. The user/viewer must make a journey (even if it’s a small one) before arriving to the data.

The video helps telling the story and helps archiving the project as well, since in the future -most likely- it won’t run in future versions of Processing (if P. survives).

I prefer to see data as a living thing and not as a photograph -even when it is-. That is why the items move within limited borders. Still the small movement allows to read the data. As Kurt Kaminski would say, it is “the microscope view”.

While the interest in some topics remained the same in the 15 gathered days, we can see -for example- how the interest in military topics is notably raised after an event while diplomacy is almost forgotten.

I imagine this video in a medium/large scale installation where the viewer can analyze the data and at the same time, having the computer naming the book titles one by one using its own cold impartial voice.


At the end, the interest in ‘fictional’ BigFoot (deweyClass=001.944) was larger than war, hate, crime, greed, fascism, diplomacy, censorship altogether.





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