MPM505 – Assignment #1 – Self Data Portrait

            Music was the inspiration behind my portrait. As a commuter who spends around 2 hours daily on public transport surrounded by noise, I enter an aural space of solitary every time I put on my earphones and turn on my iPod. Whenever I ride the train, bus, or subway, my music isolates me from reality and buries all external sounds.


           For this project, I chose to use some of my most played songs on my iTunes as my data set. To make it more aesthetically interesting, I decided to use the sound waves of each of the songs for my portrait. I created the silhouette of my glasses and hair, which I believe are signature items that clearly represent my image, by manipulating and transforming the waveforms. The earphones were made with the titles of all the songs I used. Using a total of 108 songs, I believe I created something that clearly resembles me without being too literal.

            To make it even more enticing and further tie the inspiration to the piece conceptually, I created the illusion of illuminated text and waveforms by changing the opacities of each frame resulting in a beautiful luminescent animation. Each song title glows with its corresponding waveform and are strategically ordered to show the music traveling from external to internal. The swift flashes from frame to frame create a beautiful protective aura-like element that visually showcases my concept of entering an alternate aural space / reality whenever I listen to music.




Assignment: For this assignment, you will create an unusual portrait of someone you know well using data. You could also do a self-portrait. Think about how data about someone can also tell a story about who they are. Use this data to create your portrait. You can use any medium or technology you like. Post the results on your class webpage, along with a short explanation of the data and how you are using it to create your portrait. (200-250 words)


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