In this project we explored how complex digital identities can be represented as analogue sculptures and physical forms.
The idea of a world without the Internet is unimaginable to us. We use online communities to forge virtual realities, which are then subject to a perpetual process of reinvention and redefinition. Parallel to the world of real individuals, an artificial world has emerged of which heart beats in bits and bytes.
The project made this disparity visible by showing digital as three-dimensional forms. By determining how a digital identity is created, we defined parameters that would enable a comparable analysis on an abstract level. Web-crawler programs were developed to automatically search the web and analyse particular pages. The interpretation of these personal details gave each identity its unique form, which was then fixed in a generated sculpture.
Consumerist (Amazon), communication behaviour (Twitter), interests (Delicious) and listening habits (Last.fm) from specific people were saved in a database and this information was used to produce the sculptures.
After several prototypes of how to display the data, ranging from abstract landscapes to almost readable three dimensional networks, we decided to abstract even further, instead of displaying the underlying information in a readable way. Seven renderings were generated for each identity, from which we produced actual printed plaster sculptures.