2014 - present
Understanding encyclopedias as containers of information and compendia of knowledge, this ongoing project (which takes form as a Tumblr blog) explores how the encyclopedic form has been translated and expanded by Wikipedia. Content is generated according to the daily Featured Article—what results is an image or animation that aims to encapsulate the subject according to the information presented in the article. The questions that initially guided my activity:
How does the translation of written information into visual form change what information (potential knowledge) is made available to the reader/user? What is gained and what is lost? How does information change when translated between verbal and visual language?
I eventually began uploading my images to Wikimedia Commons and publishing them directly to their respective articles, tracking the duration of their stay on each page. More often than not, the visual content I contributed was removed by other editors—one in particular decided to contact me directly:
"I see that you have been uploading images to Wikimedia Commons and linking to them here. Every one of your images has a problem with it: from violating WP: No original research to just plain uselessness. Please stop inserting your images in Wikipedia.”
This editor’s reaction to my contribution caused me to question even further what role visual content serves within an encyclopedic context—and in a broader sense, what role visualization has in systems of information that are predominantly linguistic.