bios.02 (portraits created from an application's misguided but perhaps well intentioned algorithmic analysis)

In exploring the translation of content from one medium to another (for example, text to visuals), and the serendipity that can result from the process, this application ("bios.02") reads biographical data and interprets it visually. In attempting to visualize someone based on text in their biography, the application applies a set of rules; it evaluates each person based on information collected from their "bio" on the Interactive Arts and Media website. Averaging the length of all the biographies provides a guideline for determining those who are more or less verbose. It also calculates the number of words that are eight characters or longer; these are words that it doesn't yet "know", so it is biased towards those who have a large amount of these "interesting" words. The bias has less to do with actual content as with arbitrary rules. For example the size of the head shape that it draws of a person who has used words containing eight or more characters is larger. Since the application does not know words that are eight characters or longer it doesn't understand the meaning of those words, whether or not they are spelled correctly, or if they are in fact real words. It is merely "fascinated" with words that exceed a specific character length. The images are labeled with one of the longer words from the biography text with the person's name in parenthesis. Each iteration produces a slightly different result; there are a range of choices that the application can make as it reads through the text and begins to form the image (it has also analyzed several paintings I have made and uses parts of them for the new imagery - depending on how it is interpreting the biography text). For those who know the subject of the portrait, abstracting out a single word from a biography and pairing it with the person's name can form an insightful connection, an ironic twist, or perhaps simply give one word from so many an unjust weight.






The first version of this series, bios reads biographical data and translates it visually.