Z/Z/Z/ (2010–)

Visualizing the hidden dimensions of time-based media.

Z/Z/Z/ describes the dimensions of cultural artifacts that are difficult to explain using natural language. We use visualization techniques with trial-and-error methodologies to explore individual cultural artifacts (e.g. a scene of animation) as well as larger cultural data sets (e.g. a director's filmography). Selected sources include: cinema, animation, and videogames.

Our primary goals for visualizing culture are:

  • aesthetic production—to create new work from existing works
  • providing better descriptions of cultural artifacts than language alone
  • to analytically and heuristically reveal previously unseen cultural patterns
  • better representing the complexity, diversity, variability, and uniqueness found in animation, cinema, and video games
The origins of this project trace back to experiments conducted with Jeremy Douglass and Lev Manovich at the Software Studies Initiative from 2008–10. Our shared media-history obsession and visualization expertise resulted in the alpha code for Z/Z/Z/.