Exploratory Generative Study — Update


I will be working with 5 contacts (the few I mainly communicate and have some sort of emotionally intimacy with in this current period). It is significant to note that these dynamics might change over time and completely disappear too — this however will be part of tracking the transient role we play in each other’s life through our phones. If I happen to break communication with 1 out of 5 of the people, the data visualisation representing that respective person will be empty for that period of time. There will not be any additional or new contacts added into the system designed around the initial 5 subjects.

Time Period:

Will take place over a period of 1.5 to 2 weeks so as to have enough diversity in the visualised outcomes yet have some overarching structure/parameter.


Initially I only thought of recording the connections we made between each other based on similar keywords indicative of the same sort of emotion, and  the ‘background’ third party connections between the other users themselves make (via me as an intermediary). However I have decided to include the types of emotions within the graphs (categorising of them as either positive or negative feelings and taking note how these map out through the days).

The initial idea was to use discrete/isolated and progressive grids that represented each respective days. However I felt like the structure seemed very rigid and would be counter intuitive to the way they were meant to portray the very organic and salient connections of our digital relationships and intimacy. Hence I will be using circles instead (the centre being Myself, and 5 Equidistant points on the Circumference to represent the contacts).



Instead of organising them in a linear manner, I will be organising the circles themselves as part of a larger circular clock like interface or some sort of spiral — this will allow us to view the entirety of the data as one cohesive pattern/piece that can be taken apart slowly instead of a blatantly broken down grid structure. This improved iteration will require slightly more ‘effort’ from the viewer, increasing engagement and stimulation. Having no discrete start or end in a circular loop also reinforces the concept of transience and fluidity of digital intimacy.


One Reply to “Exploratory Generative Study — Update”

  1. The new overall structure seems fine.

    Circular instead of rectangular grid is an improvement, exactly for the reasons you outlined.

    You can decide weather to go for circular or spiral overall composition of charts as you go along and collect enough charts, so you can test it out visually. In general, a spiral structure suggest the open-ended nature of emotional transactions more clearly, while with a circle you will induce the idea of enclosure, weather in temporal or broader conceptual context.

    It is important that you find the way to differentiate the participants not only geometrically by also by color, for easier tracking.

    You need to designate the keyword(s) for each feeling being charted to clarify each chart and help the viewer build their own interpretation of the relations.

    Also, you need to add date/time stamps to each chart to communicate the temporal dynamics without physically distorting the overall composition of all charts. You need to find the way to do this clearly but unobtrusively.

    You can think about enhancing this initial concept into an interactive data-viz system for your following generative art project. If you decide to go in that direction, you need to find the way to address the topic: surprise. However, this continuation idea is only a suggestion on my part, and it is, of course, completely your decision. Anyway, we can discuss it further next class if you want.

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