The Age of String is an interactive data visual installation which aims to provide the viewer a three dimensional experience of what it’s like to communicate in one’s absence in the context of texting. Furthermore, it intends to impart awareness about the complexities, nuances, possibilities and failures of written communication in the smartphone age, and how they affect the relationships we have with other people in our everyday lives.
Each sculpture consists of two hanging 12x14” panels made of cleared coloured acrylic facing each other. These two panels represent the two people involved in the texting correspondence. The data that i gathered (number of texts sent by each person) are shown through connecting these two transparent panels with strings. ​​​​​​​
The panels and strings are in two colors: red and yellow. Red represents me and my data, and yellow represents my friend and his data.
The strings are tied on dome buttons (tuxedo buttons) that protrude on the holes; the buttons serve as a material interpretation of the “buttons” we press on the phone when texting.
The data that holds the “number of words sent daily” and the specific date when the data was taken are rastered on a clear acrylic panel attached to each side of the two coloured panels, to reinforce and embody the density of the words we send each through texting daily.​​​​​​​
The top ten keywords sent by each respective person are rastered on both sides of a 6.5x8.5” translucent blue acrylic panel. This panel is also hanged, placed between the larger panels and the strings coming from the bigger panels will go through it. These words can only be seen clearly when hit by direct light. The aim for this particular material intent is to convey the difficulty of how these “most used words” are to guide and aim to their proper destinations when affected by the communicative nuances, complexities, and fallibility of the written word (in the context of texting).
Each installation/sculpture can only convey all the data gathered in a day.
This interactive art installation meant to be put in a dim art gallery space, where the viewers have to use the flashlight app on their smartphones to view and inspect the sculpture. In doing so, the light abstractly projects the entirety of the sculpture—the overlapping of the complex connection of the strings, the buttons, the blocks of colours coming from the acrylic panels etc.— on the wall and on the bodies of other people, making the viewer feel the art gallery space is the dimension where the invisible metaphysical process of sending a text happens.
The Age of String Broadsheet

All the data gathered was also visualized and printed on broadsheets as a supplemental printed
matter for the installation.

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