Fluid Cities: the air we share
Being isolated in a disruptive time like this, our longing for human connections escalates more than ever. The reality has shrunk to the size of our little bedrooms, and we have every reason to feel trapped living with fragmented humanity. Fluid Cities: the air we share is a project recalling the human togetherness that still persists but has been forgotten. Ambient recordings from 18 countries around the world were collected and programmed into digital visualization through the project.
produced by: Betty Li
You will be hearing traffics, wind, people, and the void from a random city in the world after initiating the program. Organic fluid digital drawings transform with the sound, which suggests the continuous movement of rhythm in life, subtle but strong. You can switch to 'experience' another city when you feel like it.
I knew I was going to use the recursive function for my visualization. I was envisioning a shape that is versatile and organic enough, but also has an underlying structure. After research, I've decided to use the Julia set, which is the set of complex numbers in mathematics, that can generate unbelievably beautiful fractal forms. Of course, the math was the most unbelievable part. It took me a long time to finally understand the complex number in math, and how the shape will re-iterate itself within that equation. Then I used Processing with Minim library to analyze the sound frequency, and mapped the parameters in my shapes with the sound variable.
For the sound data, I was planning to use a XML database that includes sound recordings from more than eighty cities in the world. But the database is protected against non-browser programs. So I downloaded sounds of 18 cities within my selection from the database instead. For future development, I would love to access the database eventually so I will have much richer data to play with, and the project will be more inclusive and comprehensive. I also plan to develop a participatory branch where people can send me recordings of their own environmental surroundings, and I will send them digital-visualized drawings in return.
The coding train -- Julia Set in Processing
-- XML and JSON - Processing
Filled Julia Set
Understanding Julia and Mandelbrot Sets