THE TASK:

Make a mind map to visualize relations and connections between different authors.

This tool was meant to be a complement of other mind maps proposed by my fellow classmates, all of them (not this one alone) would provide a more complete framing of the issue.

In this case, we tried to connect the ideas of different authors based on the ‘tone/characteristics’ of their ideas.

 

THE CONTENT

The analyzed texts “As we may think’ by Vannevar Bush (1945), “The Garden of Forking Paths” by Jorge Luis Borges (1941), “Men, Machines, and the World About” by Norbert Wiener and “New Media from Borges to HTML” by Lev Manovich.

 

THE METHOD

We carefully selected the most meaningful (from our perspective) ideas/quotes from these four essays:


We then proceeded to put them in a special box/category. For example, if the text was announcing something about the future, its category would be prophet. Or, if an idea provided outstanding food for the mind, then its category would be wise, and so forth.



All of the information was saved in different text files (in this way, we could easily change the software’s INPUT and use it in the future to connect different topics).

The code (made with Processing) would:
1. Load the text and parse it
2. Arrange all the ideas into categories and authors.
3. Proceed to display it and build the interface for user manipulation and analysis
4. Additionally, small elements are displayed representing the tone of each author’s ideas.


For example, some authors would be overly realistic vs other authors being purely prophetic.

We could also compare just two or three authors (or even add more) if we wanted, or even one author alone.


DOWNLOAD ORIGINAL CODE AND MATERIALS

 

FUTURE REVISIONS:

A future revision of the tool could emphasize better the visual aspect of the bottom interface.
The connections between quotes/ideas could be stressed with visual aids (this would require to parse individual every registry)
For the moment all of the information is taken from a *.txt file, but it wouldn’t hurt to connect the code with an online database.



Project developed at the University of California in Santa Barbara, under the “Art & Technology’ course, by Marko Peljhan.
Juan Manuel Escalante | FALL MMXIV | US