Turning “style” into visual information

07Apr08

Probably the best infographic-gasm I’ve seen yet: an artist put Kerouac’s “On The Road” through some pretty ingenious Edward-Tufte-style processing. The result: jaw-dropping images that are fractal-like in their information density — you can “zoom in” for a high level of detail or just glance at the gestalt and still glean a great deal of overall meaning.

For instance, my favorite: “drawing” individual sentences to create a “map” of the whole book. It’s literally a picture of Kerouac’s style – loopy, elliptical, meandering.

I’d love to see the same visual algorithm applied to other authors with a recognizable prose style – Pynchon? Hemingway? Faulkner? Would their “pictures” be as instantly recognizable? [Gah! Update – she’s already done this – scroll down to the bottom here to see Kerouac vs. Faulkner vs. Orwell.]

Also something similar for films/directors – it would be awesome to create an image of “Michael Bay style” or “Andrei Tarkovsky style.”



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