/Information Worlding (in Cyberspace)

/Thesis Research

/Behind each move, it is a world

Cyberspace Embodiment
Dynamic Symbiosis
Parallel Worlds Theory
Information Art
Data Mapping/Data Modernism

Yujie Jiang
Thesis One, 2018 Fall
Advisors: Ayo Okunseinde, Ethan Silverman

Project website:  https://infoworldingcom.000webhostapp.com/
Project explanation(user testing) website: https://infoexplain.000webhostapp.com/

Research Milestones Papers (ongoing)
Domain Research https://drive.google.com/file/d/11yyoJYwE-q2y5Mn-UGTBfnZcb6d7mG8B/view?usp=sharing
Milestone 1 - Research with Artifacts: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1uiNQdEYmElUa-nsapU6QAtrwiVAA_FoF/view?usp=sharing Milestone 2 - Research with Prototypes: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Oo5SFHMIqKaM1hDQZPvOQNvUTnWo7PU6/view?usp=sharing Milestone 3 - Prototyping with User Testing: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Oo5SFHMIqKaM1hDQZPvOQNvUTnWo7PU6/view?usp=sharing
Final Delivery Document Paper:https://drive.google.com/file/d/1_kxXb9M34I4K4fCIV6E2ur7gHLGP1MVZ/view?usp=sharing  

1.0 Abstract
Information Worlding (in Cyberspace) is an ongoing project that aims at exploring the poetic side of the new media form of data mapping by mapping situations and daily generative information into a single image that fits within the browser frame. The goal of this project is to turning phenomena, such as time, spaces, and even infinite, that falls beyond the limits or scope of human senses and reasons into something visibly beautiful and manageable aligns visualization art with modern science.

2.0 Concept
This concept separation between data mapping and data visualization was proposed in the article,“The Anti-Sublime Ideal Date Art” by Lev Manovich in 2002. In the article, Manovich describes visualization as “ taking the wealth of the experiences of an individual or community and reducing it to a single image, a narrative, or another artistic structure,” but by using the concept of data mapping, the data can be mapped into another domain, for example, time into space, sound into 2D image, etc.  Rather than trying to be rational, I believe data mapping could make the method out of irrationality, and sometimes surreal in order to generate new meanings and cognition.

By doing so, more absurd and unusual mappings of data are also possible. The project for such new mappings and transformation of real-world information allow us access old media objects in new ways congruent with information interfaces that we use in everyday life.

3.0 Design Questions (Ongoing)
1. Having some of my research done as well as my project for user testing, I found out that often the time people moved by the artistic representation emotionally so why is it? Is it because it carry the promise of rendering the phenomena that are beyond the scale of human senses?
  1. Does this form of mapping and visualization create a sense of tangibility and a falling sense of the scope?
  2. What do we do with this kind of enhanced sensory experience?

4.0 Domains
Dynamic Symbiosis
Parallel Worlds Theory
Cyberspace Embodiment
Information Art
Data Modernism/Data Mapping

5.0 Design values
My expectation upon the piece:
1.    Strong visuals, reviving attention upon data
2.    Extending sensation upon behaviors
3.    Aesthetically enjoyable and alien

6.0 Community of Practices

7.0 Research Artifacts

1. Using graphics to visualizing my research process, as well as resources and precedents that I have been exposed to.

2. Conducting questionaries to help me find out the important data that impacts our daily lives.
The data are categorized into 4 kinds:
    1. The most used data
    2. The most cared data
    3. The most frequenly appeared data
    4. The data that make you panic the most


Prototype 1 - Testing Technology Feasibility

I was in the early stages of designing 3D objects by using seconds in real time to test out the technological feasibility of my idea. A core consideration for this project is what kind of technology that I can use for an effective execution of my idea. Specifically, I want to find out whether having real-life data mapping into Unity or Three.js are technically stable and effective.

Using three.js to map real-time data into virtual 3D space. The cube size is changing based on real-time seconds.

Prototype 2 - Preference Prototype

At the second stages in my early research, I designed a web interface that generates corresponding visual images of a 3D space based on user inputs. Core considerations for this project are what kind of visual image could generate curiosity and what type of interactive interface is effective for collecting personal data. Specifically, I want to find out whether web input is effective for collecting personal data, and how do people think about the responding changing 3D space.

Through functional prototype, I found out that people do not usually pay enough to their daily behaviors, for example, how many times do they check themselves into the mirror, how long do they sit, and how often do they use computer mouse, etc. This provides a support to my assumption that people are inattentional blind to the data points that they generated daily.

Prototype 3 - Aesthetic Look and Feel

For my aesthetic prototype, I collected as many visual references as possible and created a mood board that helps me to find out in which aesthetic taste I want to execute my project. A core consideration is how I can provoke curiosity using certain type of visual elements. Specifically, I want to find out which style that I am interested the most and how the collected series helps me to aesthetically think out of the box.

Prototype 4 - Testing Data Dimensions

For this prototype, I designed a series of virtual mountains that are ready for physical data mapping. Specifically, I want to find out how many data dimensions are available for me to play with and for mapping by personal data. These data points are minimal and trivial, but power enough to describe our living as a person if we accumulate them up.


The technology prototype helped me be able to technologically move forward and create the principle prototype. As the result, I am able to find at least five twistable dimensions where I could fill in with data points on a 3D object that I created. So, I created these series of alien-like virtual mountains and let each changes color, density, slope, pattern, and size based on real-time data.

Concept Drawing

Prototype 5 - Functionality Prototype  

For this prototype that I am focusing on the world building mechanism. I spent most of my time in trouble shooting the code problem I had for last time in the principle prototype, as well as putting multiple animated objects at same time to the scene without impacting the browser processing speed. Speficially, I am in the process of developing my virtual space that are ready for data mapping. The final outcome will be informative eco-system.Web link: https://infoworldingcom.000webhostapp.com/
Explanation page link:

Pop-Up Show - User Testing


Reflection & Feedbacks:
In the beginning of my project, there was a confusing overlapping between data visualization and the end goal of my project. Through a long process of prototyping, idea exploration, and research, I found out that my project is more aligned to the field of data mapping, which is related by quite different from data visualization as described above. In contrast with visualizing for the purpose of condensing and interpreting information, my project focuses on mapping information or data into a new dimension or domains that creates new meanings and definitions to helps us understand the world better.

So, for the latest prototype, I constructed fundamental worlding elements, i.e., water, grassland, and terrain, particles in the air, all the basic elements for building a virtual world. Then, I mapped time, air quality, geolocation at the moment, as well as the temperature onto the object. As time goes by, objects revolves. I created this prototype because it is important enough to really build a fundamental virtual mapped space that is functional enough for conveying my ideas as well as for the audience to experience it.

One most significant concern was a choice of data. Also, this is one of the most important insights that I got from the critique. Since there are endless ways to map one data set onto another, a particular choice upon data was not motivated, so my work is a little randomly created by the sense.So, in my evaluation of good data  mapping might have to somehow relate to the content and context of data. This is a missing piece that I have to think about my project as a whole.