At exactly 9.00 the WorkingMice will come to the office. Some eager ones, or ones fearing their bosses wrath, are already there typing away. See the count down, of this daily routine.
This is a screen recording of a live data driven illustration. The illustration has been created as part of practical research into how and if automated and live illustration is possible. What makes it different from traditional animation is that actions and behaviour are not predetermined but are programmed to respond to real-time events. Data Driven Illustration takes its cue from Data visualisation and Big Data stories, but uses these methods of data mining and visualisation to create deliberately subjective visual narratives, not to explain the data, but to make the data and illustration reflect on the story behind them.
The data-driven illustration 100 Working Mice illustrates a critical report on the present work-life balance by the New Economic Foundation: Why we all need a shorter working week (Coote and Franklin, 2013). In it’s grim drudgery, it points to the working conditions of the present market driven economy and indicates the need for a more humane working system.
It presents the daily routine of an imaginary office through the actions of anthropomorphic characters WorkerMice and CleanerMice, where the behaviour of these mice and all other objects is based on real-time data coming from various sources such as Office for National Statistics, time, weather, Twitter and the London Stock market. This means, if the employment figures change, the amount of working mice change; if the Stock Market changes, the colouring of the background changes, whilst the Tweets of ‘Hard Working People’ give an ever changing subtitle and sets the mood. 100 Working Mice presents simultaneously a constant image and continual change, interspersed with moments of activity.