DAY FOR NIGHT: UPROAR INSTALLATION
UPROAR is a tribute to the resilience of the people of Houston in the face of Hurricane Harvey. The fluid, painterly projection depicts large swaths of color that ebb, flow, and mingle over time. Within this abstract gestalt exists a data visualization – one that pins wind and rain data against the rise of #HOUSTONSTRONG on Twitter over the course of the four day storm.
GATHERING THE DATA
Our first step was to determine the amount of #HOUSTONSTRONG tweets during the storm. To do this, we used a combination of DiscoveryText’s Sifter and Gnip. After determining the number of unique tweets, we sorted them into a timeline.
The second step came in the form of accessing and acquiring hurricane data. For this portion, we used the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (N.O.A.A.). We received and analyzed data for precipitation rate, precipitation location, water level, and wind speeds.
VISUALIZING THE DATA
Our next step was designing a system capable of visualizing two vastly different data sets. We aimed for an aesthetic inspired by the fluidity and shear power of a hurricane, without feeling too literal or sensational. The final look was first designed in Cinema 4D, then executed in Houdini.
The color palette was an important aspect of this project. The goal was to use two contrasting colors not typically associated with storm data. We wanted our piece to stand out and inspire contemplation.
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
Our final step was combining the data with our visual system. We began by deciding on parameters for the storm data: color saturation for precipitation rate and location, displacement for water level, and directional movement for wind speed. Once we understood how those parameters would result in an undulating landscape, we started to think of ways of introducing the Twitter data.
We settled on a system that visualized each #HOUSTONSTRONG tweet as an individual strand running along the surface of our storm landscape. The resulting combination consisted of two separate simulations working together to form a single depiction of two different data sets. As the visualization animates, the amount of blue Twitter strands increases, at times covering large parts of the yellow storm landscape.
PREMIERING THE PIECE
Premiering at the 2017 Day For Night Festival in Houston, UPROAR was meant to honor resilience, solidarity, and the process of recovery. No matter how powerful a storm is, it cannot fully suppress or take over a city and the will of the people.
ROLE: Designer + Director
CO-DIRECTOR: Kinda Akash
DEVELOPER: Jimmy Gass
STUDIO: The Mill