Since statistical facts are becoming more and more present in the representation of the world around us, how much do they also influence our perception of it? With visions such as the Internet of Things and the open-data movement steadily becoming reality, we increasingly have to deal with facts from a variety of different sources and places and relating to many different aspects of our lives. Data can also be inspirational, and the more abstract the facts, the more they also inspire us to make up our own stories around them.
»Figures of Perception« is the design proposal of a speculative communication scenario which uses fictional statistics to blur the intersections between the fantastic and the real. It introduces devices to facilitate the communication of collective imaginations proposing a paper-based interface comprising an augmented notebook, pen and micro printer.
The first prototype was made for three people imagining the ongoing life of a deceased close mutual friend. What would this friend be doing now if he were still alive? Where would he be? And what would the weather be like there?
For two months the friends recorded and shared their imaginations by means of their notebooks, thus creating a unique way of communicating and staging a mutual fiction. The statistics gathered from this collective data fiction are used to create a public data stream in the internet via pachube.com that feeds various physical manifestations of the data. These include the generation of a wall calendar displaying rendered sky photographs based on the imaginary weather data and a reversed weather station displaying the current weather status of the imagined place.