Data_Plex (babel)

v1.0 by: Michael Takeo Magruder with Drew Baker & David Steele, 2014

A networked, real-time 3D architecture that is generated from and evolves with online social media networks.

About the Artwork:

The Data_Plex series of artworks utilise live data feeds from real-life scenarios to generate three-dimensional geometry and textures in real-time, creating virtual realms that refract ever-changing, volatile forces in and upon the real world.

Data_Plex (babel) is a virtual realm that is generated from and evolves with online social media networks. The artwork is created from hourly captures of the top ten topics currently trending worldwide on the social networking platform Twitter. A series of programs translates this ever-changing data record into a virtual architecture that is reminiscent of a classical Tower of Babel motif.

The tower's structure is constructed by algorithms that are based upon the golden spiral (an endless logarithmic geometry derived from the Fibonacci sequence) and is formed of twenty-four 'arms' - each representing an hour of time. As such, the artwork is also a ‘clock’ that through colour and transparency shows the popularity and age of the various trending topics over the previous twenty-four hour period.

Artwork Documentation:

In Collaboration with:

Drew Baker [ VRML programming ] . David Steele [ Java programming ]

With Thanks to:

Lisa Helin [ curation ]

Supported by:

Data_Plex (babel) v1.0 was commissioned in 2014 by Vivacity (Peterborough, UK) for the Living Data solo touring exhibition.

Installation Documentation:

Artwork Requirements:

[ gallery ] High-specification Windows 7/8/10 computer system capable of real-time high definition 3D rendering (VRML); multi/single-channel high definition video system; 5.1/2.1 audio system; and HCI device for user interaction.

[ online ] Windows 7/8/10 computer system with Firefox or Internet Explorer; the Cortona3D Viewer plugin; and stereo audio. A high-specification CPU/GPU, colour display with ≥1024x768 resolution and high-speed Internet connection are recommended.

[ VIEW THE ARTWORK (Windows - Firefox/Internet Explorer) 2MB ]

* The Cortona3D Viewer is not available for OS X and Linux. On these systems FreeWRL can be used to render most aspects of the work.
* In April 2015 Google deprecated support for NPAPI plug-ins (including Cortona3D Viewer). As such, VRML works can no longer be viewed using Chrome.

© TAKEO 2014