Take This Data And Shove It
Take some standard tools for graphing data. Add the power of three-dimensional printing. Result: Data rendered not as a graph or chart, but as an object. A new frontier in the art of representing information, where it's turned into something not only comprehensible and beautiful, but touchable—an intellectual tool that might double as a household tool as well. That seems to be the goal of Matthew Epler, a filmmaker and artist who has transformed Republican primary polling data into a set of butt plugs.
The shape of each of Epler's silicon objects is determined by Gallup's voter approval ratings for a particular GOP candidate. Each plug's height represents time, beginning on December 10, 2011 at the bottom and ending on April 1, 2012 (or sooner, if the candidate dropped out) at the top. Maximum possible width (an ample 2.84 inches) corresponds to 100 percent approval, so as you go up each plug it expands and tapers to reflect the ups and downs of voter sentiment. My illustration, from Epler's website, shows the ever-expanding Romney dildo and the wacky Santorum item. (Maybe Dan Savage can invent a use for it?) The other candidates' data produced shorter, thinner, rather more plausible plugs (except maybe Ron Paul, whose record is simply … intimidating).
I admit, it's a niche item. But the notion of data-as-sculpture is pretty intriguing.
International poker champion Liv Boeree teaches decision-making for Big Think Edge.
The way that you think about stress can actually transform the effect that it has on you – and others.
- Stress is contagious, and the higher up in an organization you are the more your stress will be noticed and felt by others.
- Kelly McGonigal teaches "Reset your mindset to reduce stress" for Big Think Edge.
- Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Tracking project establishes northern Argentina is wintering ground of Swainson's hawks
- Watch these six dots move across the map and be moved yourself: this is a story about coming of age, discovery, hardship, death and survival.
- Each dot is a tag attached to the talon of a Swainson's Hawk. We follow them on their very first migration, from northern California all the way down to Argentina.
- After one year, only one is still alive.
These quick bursts of inspiration will brighten your day in 10 minutes or less.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.