Crowd-Sourced Chakra Data Visualization Project

Above is a prototype for a live digital art experiment.

Next Steps

Create A Webpage

One of the more final iterations of this will be on a webpage. I don’t have a domain for it but it will be a clean, responsive web page with a white background that visualizes the information.

Dynamic SVGs

Currently, I am using PNGs. PNGs are good image file formats, however, they are static and unscaleable. SVGs would enable you to scale the word clouds up in size with no quality issues. Ideally, it also allows me to build a connection between the live database of responses and the SVG embedded on the website. Every time a response is added, it would update the SVG on the page and instantly include the response in the word cloud visualization.

Update Circles To Chakra Symbols

Right now, because it is simple, I am using circles as the shapes that are being populated by the responses. This is good because chakras are often thought of as orbs. However, there are also symbols and shapes for chakras. Ideally, I can use the universal shapes to generate the word cloud which will be even more compelling.

Enable Data Filters

On the web page that is then dynamically generating SVG images, I would enable the data filters. That would allow people interacting with the web page to filter by age, gender, religion, location (and possibly more). While I believe many people won’t include these attributes in their response, the ones who do are contributing to something interesting that uses practices of data visualization to add even more nuance to the outputs.

Why Am I Doing This?

I’m still trying to figure this out. On New Year’s Eve, my partner Monika and I created some art together. I used diamonds to generate a piece of art that contains the content in the middle while keeping the shape. I don’t exactly know what inspired me to do this: I thought of the geometric shapes that appear when you close your eyes during a psychedelic experience. I saw the opportunity to play with nature and geometry in a way that was meaningful. While creating the piece, the architecture for crowd-sourcing people’s relationships around topics manifested clearly. Monika and I had been talking about chakras which I find a fascinating topic, one that people think about differently, is connected to spirituality and wellness, and that would be interesting to collect viewpoints on. With that, the idea turned into the original prototype that I put together in about an hour. And here we are now. Sometimes inspiration strikes and you don’t know why. But, I’ve learned to do my best to follow it because it always seems to lead you somewhere novel. Hopefully, as I explore this project, other meaningful ideas come to light. I see a compelling process for dynamic, evolving crowd-sourced data visualizations that can be rendered on canvases, in digital environments and even as 3D exhibits in the real world.

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