Visualizing Literary Kinds!
For my final performance, I created (well, I created one and then just messed with pre-existing code for the other one..), two data visualizations that took all of my blog posts this semester and then created a visualization of how many times a word appeared. These visualizations were simply a part of a larger project where kobieta, sterrab and I wanted to create a visual that was representative of the work that we had each done in the class.
The main question that I grappled with was whether or not I had created something that truly encapsulated everything that the course was about. In the visualization two, I had the word show up with the number of times that it appeared. I also had a circle (in the blue box) that grew and shrunk according to the word count. Lastly, I had the number of times I posted on Serendip, displayed in the upper right hand corner. Though it seemed pretty cool, I realized that you could only see one word at a time. (The frame changed 5 times a second). This fact made me wonder whether you could actually get something from that since you cannot really string together a sentence.
In visualization one, I had a bunch of different nodes whose size varied depending on word count. They were interconnected with one another to show the entangled nature of my posts. However, you could not see the actual words that the nodes represented -- a problem in terms of thinking about the (sometimes) verbose nature of my language.
But what I ended up thinking was that these two visualizations were merely representations (consider "representation" as "the depiction of someone or something in a picture or other work of art", dictionary.com). They aren't meant to mirror something rather, they serve to simply portray something. Though they don't show the full extent of my postings, they do give them a more tangible and structured body that the text does not speak to at all. So, I guess that they do encapsulate what my posts were about, just not in a "full" way.