Centograph, a physical representation of virtual information, uses today’s technologies to encourage viewers to reflect on the past.
When you enter a search term into the computer, Centograph queries the Google News Archive for a list of related news articles over the past 100 years. The archive returns a timeline of articles sorted according to date. The bars on the graph then change height to display a histogram of the relative number of news articles for each decade.
This allows you to view the ‘shape’ of the past century in relation to different topics—from progression in computing technology to times of war and peace to changing sources of energy, to name a few possibilities.
Centograph provides viewers with a context for exploration and reflection, and it urges viewers to seek connections between different subjects and evaluate changes in public discourse over time. It also raises questions about how we use technology today. How do we acquire and interpret information, and how do we connect the web of virtual data to our physical lives?
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