Uproar: Day For Night
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 storm data against the rise of #HOUSTONSTRONG on Twitter over the course of four days. Uproar premiered at the 2017 Day For Night Festival in Houston, Texas.
Kinda Akash, William Arnold, Jimmy Gass: UPROAR
3840x1228 px Digital Projection, 7 minutes
Data visualization using Python and Houdini
(FULL PIECE available UPON REQUEST)
The undulating colors and ripples are driven by the story of two opposing forces: a combination of precipitation rates, wind speeds, and water levels (data rarely combined in one visualization), against the number of tweets and retweets of #HOUSTONSTRONG. This particular selection and combination of data sets was borne of a joint desire by myself and William Arnold: (1) to create a new system that visualized data in an informative and beautiful way, (2) to acknowledge and give a form to the local voice, (3) to meditate on the human response vis-à-vis forces of nature.
In a building originally named after the civil rights leader Barbara Jordan, at a festival honoring Houston as a world-player in new media and music, our work attempts to honor resilience, solidarity, and the process of recovery, while subtly interrogating the role of social media as emergency communication.
Ultimately, no matter how powerful a storm is, it cannot fully suppress or take over a city and the will of the people.