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a continuous sequence of the comparative line graphs & related information returned by services like Google Trends. the art project from Martin John Callanan takes the content generated by types of "X vs. Y" search queries & reduces this visualization process to its most essential elements: search terms, frequency mentioned & a timeline, including "Bush vs Saddam", "past vs present vs future" or "criminal vs victim".

the viewer sits idly & watches the infographical animations plot out the ebb & flow (or lack thereof) of a series of search terms over the last 4 years, with all the passion of a market index board.


see also Google trends & Google frequency dot map.





The artist seems to have gotten some of his data mixed up. The graph shown at the top of this post for Bush vs. Saddam didn't make any sense to me, so I tried it in Google Trends and the artist's version is obviously wrong. In fact, the data shown in the first graph is for summer vs. winter:

Thu 24 Apr 2008 at 1:31 AM

omg, that must be what they call a fauxpas... :)

as google provides the graphs, anyway, I see no sense at all in that visualisation... Google even does it better and adds annotations to it, helping to understand the peaks...

Thu 24 Apr 2008 at 2:20 AM

well spotted, Sarah!

not sure whether that was meant by the artist on purpose. for instance, if you leave the work up for a while, the legends and graphs start to intertwine. or in other words, the legends seem to appear in a different order than the graphs.

Thu 24 Apr 2008 at 2:44 PM

Well spotted Andrew!

I have a lively discussion about this project in my post on this project. I'm curious if Andrew's observation (which I admit went over my head) will change the opinion of the peer that I'm discussing the piece with.

I do think this project is much more layered than a first viewing will suggest. Look to Callanan's other work for hints.. :)

Fri 25 Apr 2008 at 12:30 AM

Thanks for spotting the error with Bush-Saddam; this was a genuine error resulting from changing the order late at night: I have changed it. I should have noticed this.

Sat 26 Apr 2008 at 2:23 AM

I couldn't glean anything useful out of this info. It was more frustratingly lacking than interesting.

Mon 28 Apr 2008 at 2:34 AM

Great fun.

For those interested in periodicity, try

Mon 28 Apr 2008 at 5:18 PM

@crow: like your style :)

Mon 28 Apr 2008 at 8:34 PM


Tue 29 Apr 2008 at 8:14 PM

@crow: No doubt that relationship could be extended into a philosophical treatise. :P

Wed 30 Apr 2008 at 8:30 AM
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