Fleshmap by Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg

Project homepage: http://www.fleshmap.com/index.html

Fleshmap, in the creators’ words, is an inquiry into human desire, its collective shape and individual expressions. In a series of artistic studies, exploring the relationship between the body and its visual and verbal representation. It contains three parts: touch, listen and look.

I appreciate it when a data visualization tells me something new from what I think I know, or what I cannot understand as well by living a life as myself. Playing with the results feels like an open and impromptu discussion with friendly strangers about an intimate topic, full of little surprises, eccentric but intriguing. It tries to explore the secret of human desire, by breaking down the basic senses, examining both the collective patterns and individual uniqueness, abstracting data from real human emotions, to put together images that represent the answer that lies in itself.

It’s fascinating to see the difference between the provider and the receiver in the interaction of touching, for both men and women, that human desire can be different from different ends. It’s not symmetric and opens up the question behind the result of touching areas but what leads to this result that is more complicated than physical interactions, in this case, touch. The origin of it all is that the heart wants what it wants.


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