Making Visible the Invisible: A Data-Driven Media Artwork, in Continuous Operation for 15 Years
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Abstract
"Making Visible the Invisible is a six-screen, dynamic data visualization artwork at the Seattle Public Library. It visualizes patrons’ library checkouts received by the hour through four different animations to give a sense of community interests. The artwork was activated in September 2005 for a 10-year operation and was extended until 2019. As one of the longest-running media arts projects based on live, continuous data, the work has presented significant challenges regarding robustness and durability over time. We review the motivation, design of the system, backup plan, maintenance and novel strategies for a decades-long media artwork."