One Year Life Strata

Data analysis and visualizations of one year worth of photos collected by an artist

Official project video. Credit: María Molina Peiró

Artistic concept

During the entire year of 2016 artist María Molina Peiró had a wearable camera on her, automatically taking a photo every 30 seconds. The enormous collection of photos collected are shown in an online archive, that instead of remembering asks for a “forgetting” of the vast photo archive.

One Year Life Strata proposes a visual metaphor of forgetting by burying the digital images as geological “strata”. The project mines the data from the strata and invites to investigate one year of the artist's life through a digital lens, which doesn't care about the personal memories included in those photos, but instead looks at the collection of patterns and numbers they contain. Read more

Text: María Molina Peiró

Our role

The artist approached us to process the photo archive she had collected over the span of one year, to extract additional information from it, and to create a number of interactive visualizations from it.

Visualizations

The ‘strata’ visualization stacks the photos on top of each other in chronological order. The ‘globe’ visualization groups the images by month and arranges them in 3D space, where the distance between the photos is determined by their similarity. Furthermore, we analyzed the colors in the photos, and created a color palette for each month, by extracting the most dominant colors.

Photos grouped by month and laid out by similarity

Animated stack of photos

Analysis

Through semantic analysis of the images we were able to determine which photos contain faces or digital screens, to get an idea of how ‘sociable’ the artist was at certain times throughout the year, and how many photos were taken indoors vs. outdoors.

Semantic analysis, 3D model of strata

Sculpture

The semantic data was then used to create an interactive data sculpture, where the months of the year are represented by a stack of layers which can be examined individually, or as a whole. Finally, the sculpture was turned into a 3D model, which was then 3D printed to produce a physical artefact.

Website

To present the project online, we also built the corresponding website, which features interactive versions of the visualizations described above, next to additional information and texts by the artist.

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