Data Stories
1998
1998
2006
2008-2009
2008-2009
Database: Data Stories
Set of 20 printed cards and title card
2009

Statement

Data Stories is a set of 20 2"x3" cards, each printed with a simple, unlabeled graph or diagram. The graphics symbolicallyrepresent a variety of common phenomena, and the viewer is free to make associations with each. For example, the first graph in the upper left is a Venn diagram, which can be used to describe a variety of situations where individuals share some characteristics, or groups of people or objects share some common members. The intended usage of the cards is open-ended - people can pick out individual cards to match them with observed phenomena, or pick several cards at random to generate a story.

Increasingly in modern society, we are shown graphs and diagrams to explain complex phenomena, and they represent a particular way of seeing and thinking about the world. Abstracted, many of these are similar. Commonly-used graphs are associated with a variety of stories (a stock crash, a rivalry, a hierarchy or patriarchy, equality, fame, etc). Clay Shirky uses a few (e.g, "the perfect network" and "the power law graph") to explain a number of social behaviors in his classes at ITP. Data Stories simply attempts to capture a subset of these to enable us to recognize these patterns and commonalities, and to generate narratives from them.

 

EXHIBITIONS

Shadowshop, SFMOMA, 2010

References

Shirky, Clay. Here Comes Everybody. (Penguin, 2008)

Copyright © Derek Chung