Precedent Critique 2

Odditiviz – Valentina D’Efilippo and Miriam Quick

Oddityviz is a project that I found a couple years ago, but that I always seem to return to. This project deconstructs various data aspects of the song Space Oddity by David Bowie, and visualizes them in very creative ways by engraving the data visualization onto a set of vinyl records.


What I like the most about this project is the ability of the creators to extract so much data out of just a song. The project is composed of 10 records that visualize things like melody, texture, narrative and emotion, amongst others. I think it’s also a good reference of ways in which we can take data and visualize it in creative ways.

One of the records that I found interesting in particular is the emotion record. Mainly, I think they took a smart approach at gathering emotion data for the song. Although one downside could be that the data is biased towards a certain group of people—i.e. friends of the creators, people living in Europe or Londons or age range of the sample—it remains a good example on yet another data type that can be extracted from a piece of art.

Another aspect I really like about this project is the wide variety of visual elements that are use to create the data visualizations behind each record. Depending on the type of data, continuous or discreet, the designers used primitive shapes, lines, patterns and waves in different ways to convey the data of the project. This is particularly commendable given that they are working with monochromatic media, which means they are not able to use color as part of their toolkit to create this visualizations.