Ancestry graphs ready for exhibition!

We’ve finally got some canvases and photo prints ready for the exhibition at Transmediale Vorspiel in Berlin next week!


Torrential waveforms

This visualization features a tight and simple coupling of sound and graphics. Received sonic fragments are visualized with their actual acoustic waveform. Over time, as a download progresses, a growing portion of the surfaces gets covered, reflecting the gradual assembly of the downloaded file.

Circular ancestry graph

Previous ancestry graphs were plotted with time progressing horizontally, and torrent content vertically. Here, time moves from periphery to center, and content clockwize.

First exhibition

We are pleased to announce that the first Torrential Forms installation will be exhibited at Collegium Hungaricum Berlin during Transmediale festival, Jan 25th – Feb 3rd 2013.

Enhanced spatiality

Compared to the previously posted example, this excerpt uses slightly parabolic movement trajectories that enhance the perception of a physical space. Again, headphones are highly recommended.

The sound of movement

Segments of audio being transferred over the net can be thought of as sound sources travelling in a physical space, from peer to peer. In the case of downloading, sound sources travel from the position of the remote peer towards the downloader in the middle of the room. During the movement, the audio contained in the segment is played back (as in earlier sonifications explored here).

This is a first attempt to realize this acoustical-spatial interpretation of file sharing. By using so called binaural synthesis, the perception of a 3d space is simulated. Therefore, the rendering should be heard with headphones. For a physical installation, other synthesis techniques would be used in combination with speakers (e.g. wave fields).

PDF re-assembly



Several PDF-files of classic novels are downloaded through file sharing. As the files are being assembled, a stock ticker prints out the fragmented words and phrases in the order they are being processed, creating a mashup or remix of the novels.
The result is a physical mapping of the process in one dimension. The ticker not only blends the novels together, it also re-configures the typeset text of the novels into a totally linear literary artefact, which the visitors can take home with them.
Certain stock tickers print up to three colours, which means that the fragments of each source can be made visually distinguishable.

More family trees

Here are some more ancestry graphs of varying complexity.

Tracing the roots

My recent dynamic visualizations have shed some light on how downloads unfold over time. One of the most salient aspects that emerge is the gradual assembly through which downloaded fragments finally melt together into a single whole. I think this aspect can be highlighted more clearly than in my recent attempts.

In trying to understand the nature of assembly, I have started to visualize whole transmissions in a single graph. The image above shows the “genealogy” of a downloaded album. Time progresses from left to right, showing how separate lines of “ancestors” gradually merge together into a single node representing the complete file.

By “ancestor” I mean a downloaded fragment which has not yet been merged. The presence of different peers is not reflected in the graph.

Hidden transmissions

DJ Shadow’s recent BitTorrent release is called Hidden Transmissions. But my transmission of it is not hidden. The experiment introduces circular forms and mechanical forces governing movement of file objects.