Projects: Generative Visualized Data At Rome Diesel Flagship

April 30, 2015 by Dave Haynes


Apparel retailer Diesel opened a flagship store in Rome last fall that included an entry area dominated by an immersive video wall running content from a German digital artist.

The abstract digital display, reports GDR UK, “draws from geographical data taken from maps of Rome. Its colour, growth and movement is based upon the use of #rome and #POSTroma across online sites.”

“Each time the hashtags are used on Twitter, a unique response will be displayed in-store. A screenshot of that in-store digital display is then sent in real-time to the person who tweeted.”

“A specially programmed algorithm created by Fischer generates a haiku poem and a striking screenshot of the in-store visual display in real-time, both of which are delivered directly to the Twitter account of each interacting individual.”


The installation ran for three months.

I have mixed feelings about this, though seeing a video is a poor replacement for seeing it live. I love the idea of generative content based on buzz in the city. I like the immersive feel of this. However, what I see of the artwork makes me wonder how many store visitors would be able to draw a connection between the abstract visuals and live data.

This stuff can look amazing, but it would be more amazing if people knew the what and why of how it is being generated. Not sure that happens here.

The whole Clearly Beautiful vs Beautifully Clear thing is what Mike Pell from Microsoft will be talking about at DSrupted this fall in Toronto.

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