The Data Stones

Experimental data visualisation/data occlusion

The Data Stones explore how we can find patterns and meaning in the datasets that record our lives and interactions with others, using the ancient Chinese technique of looking for meaning in the shapes of stones. In this work, I downloaded over 60,000 messages from every email account and app that my partner and I use to communicate. Using the logic of sedimentary stone, the lower layers chart the older messages and the upper layers the most recent. The length of each message shapes the profile of the stone. The content of each individual message is converted into a bitmap image, where each letter, space and punctuation mark is transcoded into a greyscale value. This image is used to create the fine details on the stone so that every message is encoded directly into the surface. As our lives are recorded as points within imperceptibly large datasets, the problem of representation returns us the Romantic fascination with the sublime, and data visualisation emerges as our means of portraiture. As bodies become datasets, comprehension becomes the apophenia of searching for patterns in stone. In contemplating these stones, we hope to crystallise our thoughts, and finds ourselves, staring back.

Sound by Tom Smith []

Big thanks to Alexis Mailles


[Conference Exhibition]  ISEA 2019,

Art Center Nabi, Korea, 22nd - 28th June 2019.

[Conference Exhibition] SIGGRAPH ASIA, Tokyo International Forum, 4-7th December, 2018

[Private Event], Yaji, Curated by Johnson Chang, Suzhou, 2018.

[Group Exhibition] Liminal Encounters

- Exhibition with the Asia Society, Hong Kong, 5th Nov 2018 - 26 Jan 2019

System 3: Data Stones

System 2: Animation Exhibited at SiGGRAPH Asia (Tokyo 2018)

System 2: Animation Exhibited at ISEA (Korea 2019)

System 1: Sculpture Installation at Asia Society Hong Kong, 2018

System 1: Private Event,Yaji, Curated by Johnson Chang, Suzhou, 2018

System 2: Augmented Reality Installation, Brooklyn Army Terminal, New York City, 2019.