logo of Bee Arts CIC

logo for BRE4TH - a woman's face in profile breathing a stream of neon yellow, orange and pink breath logo of the Wellcome Trust

BEE ARTS COMMUNITY INTEREST COMPANY RESEARCHED AND DEVELOPED THE ARTISTIC POSSIBILITIES FOR A NEW WORK BASED ON THE NON-INVASIVE DIAGNOSIS OF BREATH. THIS PROJECT WAS FUNDED BY THE WELLCOME TRUST.

AUGUST 2009 - MARCH 2010

Inside of the PTR-MS machineO

HOW BRE4TH WAS DEVELOPED - VISUALISATION RESEARCH


Initial Thoughts

The starting point for our research on visualising data was our existing experience of working with scientific data in previous projects such as Antarctic Waves created with the British Antarctic Survey and 4D Music created for the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group. In both these projects but especially in Antarctic Waves, it was important to us that the data are never considered in isolation and that our interpretation of the data helped our audience to understand and appreciate the meaning of the data.

We also knew of the existence of some types of software being developed that could be used to visualise data such as Processing - http://processing.org/.

These stimuli prompted a broad range of explorations following our central questions about how to reveal the hidden information in breath. Below are brief descriptions and links to web sites that we discovered as part of our research and which informed the development of our own visualisations.




PhylloTrees

This research uses phyllotactic patterns to inform the layout of hierarchical data using non-overlapping, optimal packing. PhylloTrees are a family of expandable tree layouts that were developed based on these patterns.

http://pages.cpsc.ucalgary.ca/~pneumann/wiki/pmwiki.php?n=MyUniversity.PhylloTrees.

We were interested in these types of visualisations because of the immediacy of the 3D structures and how this clearly defines the hierarchy of the data.



The Cooperative Association for Internet Data Analysis - CodeRed

This visualisation depicts the number of hosts infected by the CodeRed computer worm during the 24 hour period starting on July 19, 2001.

We particularly liked the way in which the background plane contains relatively dark clusters of nodes that reveal little detail whilst the foreground plane contains the subtree that represents the important information.

http://www.caida.org/tools/visualization/walrus/gallery1/



Visual Complexity

This website explores functional visualisations that require a visual language system using shape, colour, line, hierarchy and composition.

Twitter Lyrics
This Twitter visualisation is meant to question the top-down categorisation and evaluation of music by the music industry and its sales charts by using Twitter as an alternative ranking system. We drew on this style of visualisation in our 'London's Lungs' event.

http://www.visualcomplexity.com/vc/



GroGraphics

GroGraphics is a site for iterative art, from reactive (trigger-released) works through to data visualisations. Below is one of the projects linked to.
http://www.grographics.com/risd/DmIterateToVisualize/index.html

Messa di Voce
This image is from 'Messa di Voce', an audiovisual performances and installation for voice and interactive media in which the speech, shouts and songs produced by two abstract vocalists are radically augmented in real-time by custom interactive visualization software.

We enjoyed the simplicity and directness of this interaction especially as it also related to breath.
http://tmema.org/messa/messa.html



Cytoscape

Cytoscape is an open source bioinformatics software platform for visualising molecular interaction networks and biological pathways and integrating these networks with annotations, gene expression profiles and other state data. Although Cytoscape was originally designed for biological research, now it is a general platform for complex network analysis and visualisation.

This seemed to us to be a very good example of separation of foreground and background data.

http://cytoscape.org/



Hard Data

Hard Data is a data-mining, sonification, and visualisation project by R. Luke DuBois that uses statistics from the American military actions in Iraq as source material for a series of audiovisual compositions. The intention of the series is twofold: one, to recontextualize the formal stochastic music in the context of real-world statistics, and two, to provide a compositional and metaphoric framework for creating an electroacoustic music relevant and significant to our time. Presented as an online, open-source work, viewers are invited to download the data set and source material for the piece and create their own interpretations.

Hard Data is an interesting example of a work that simultaneously visualises and sonifies.

http://turbulence.org/Works/harddata/