figures of perception
collective data fiction
(2011)
Concept for a toolset to generate and share a collective data-fiction about an imaginary person and place.




Weather reports, statistical prognoses and all kinds of other sensory data influence our concept of the world. Yet, we know that measurements are never objective and always bound to subjects who measure and read the data. The more abstract the facts, the more they inspire us to make up our own stories around them.

»Figures of Perception« tries to gauge the relationship between data and fiction and to use statistics as a tool to blur the intersections between the fantastic and the real. The idea is to stimulate its users' fantasy in creating a collective story by imagining the same person and place. In providing their story with imagined statistics, they lend the characters and settings a realistic appeal.

Advances in paper computing technology make it possible to think of applications that combine traditional haptic tools with digital elements. The toolset suggested by »Figures of Perception« facilitates the communication of collective imaginations by using a paper interface comprising a digital pen and a pocket printer. To tell the story in turn, each storyteller uses an augmented notebook with the pen and printer to capture and communicate the narrative within the group.

The statistics gathered from the collective data fiction are used to create a public data stream on pachube.com that feeds various physical manifestations of the data. These include the generation of a wall calendar displaying rendered sky photographs based on the imaginary weather data and a reversed weather station showing the weather status of the place imagined.

download
Diploma Thesis (PDF/german)

c.2010
Rendered skies generated out of the imaginary wheather data
Toolset: Notebook, printer and pen
Filling out the form with the data about the imaginary person and the place
Transmitting the data via the pen interface
Receiving a new story part on the printing device
Printing the message into the notebook