Clarissa Ribeiro, Herbert Rocha: Political Crystals: Algorithmic Strategies for Data Visualization

  • ©, Clarissa Ribeiro and Herbert Rocha



    Political Crystals: Algorithmic Strategies for Data Visualization



Artist Statement:

    Considering the artists interest and long term collaboration involving data visualization strategies, AR and VR and 3D modeling, the work invites to reflect on the dramatic definition of ‘geo related’ political borders during 2018 elections in Brazil and the relation to the structural dichotomy of the social media’s domains. The work considers the importance of including political debate in technology-based artistic practices. Combining algorithmic modeling strategies for data visualization with digital fabrication, the work includes the generative design of a series of geometrically intricate crystals-like 3D models using as raw data Twitter APIs having as the search phrase hashtags related to Brazilian 2018 presidential elections twitted from defined geolocations. The choice for the installation was to select the largest cities of the country by region considering having a representative sample of Twitter’s users behavior concerning Tweets that include opposite hashtags (#nothim and #yeshim) emphatically depicting the bipolarity observed in the election results. Raw data is converted using a sequence of components from characters to numbers lists to points in x, y and z axes – building the spatial network from which an intricate and interlaced continuous surface is generated, and converted into a mesh. A smoothened representation of the mesh is calculated, not increasing the face count and allowing volume enhance specifications. The resultant geometry is baked and saved in .stl for 3D printing. The work navigates research fields such as Computer Graphics, Socio-Technical Systems, Data Science, Complex Network, Data Visualization and Analysis and Computational Aesthetics in a transversal move that incorporates Digital Fabrication and Altered Reality strategies for its ultimate materialization as an artwork