19 July 2005

black shoals | information galaxies

Last year in Copenhagen at Nikolaj there was an excellent installation

Black Shoals Stock Market Planetarium is an art project created by
Joshua Portway and Lise Autogena.

The project takes the form of a darkened room with a domed ceiling upon which a computer display is projected, like a planetarium. Audiences are immersed in a world of real-time stock market activity, represented as the night sky, full of stars that glow as trading takes place on particular stocks.


Black Shoals Stock Market Planetarium is an animated night sky that is also a live representation of the world’s stock markets, with each star representing a traded company. Fed by massive streams of live financial information, the stars glimmer and pulse, immediately flickering brighter whenever their stock is traded anywhere in the world. The stars slowly move across the sky, clustering together or drifting apart in response to the shifting affinities of their respective companies, growing or shrinking as the company’s fortunes change. Digital creatures, a form of artificial life, inhabit this world, feeding on the light released by the stars, breeding, dying and slowly evolving – while trying to learn to live in this strange artificial ecology into which they’ve been born.

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The galaxy space in Ryukyu ALIVE consists of many stars (= icons). The icons represent individual Web pages of Wonder Okinawa. If a user accesses a certain Web page, the corresponding icon will jump towards the outermost rim of the galaxy. Un-accessed pages will gradually be drawn towards the center of the galaxy, and will eventually be absorbed and become invisible. Changes in the galaxy due to the "jumping" and "absorption" of icons show the overall usage status of Wonder Okinawa i.e., what the user is seeing.
Icons outside the galaxy represent lately accessed information

Mechanism of Galaxy

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