This project began years ago, around 1998, when Cathy started seeing so many people every day that she wanted to add columns to her address book spreadsheet to track all those interactions. The columns never really worked out, but the idea germinated and grew in my mind for years.
I have a text file called "whoDidISeeToday.txt" open on my computer, all the time. Every time i talk to someone on the phone, write an email (or a letter!),
or see someone, i add their name to the list. Here's a random snippet so you can see what it looks like:
20051211,steveBevis nicole hilary,,alan caro 20051210,nicole matt mil mattG johnO miriam,, pete 20051209,steve fred james,chris lydia,jonathan mosh 20051208,rebecca fred alan liz brettWood,phil leo,miriam rick michelleThat's a few days from December 2005. I saw Liz Frencham and Brett Wood at a gig earlier that week, and we were writing to each other. I'm not sure what i did with Chris and Lydia that week, but i rang them both about it. Alan and Caroline had just moved to Petersham.
The animation is generated in Macromedia Director version 8. If you want to see how, you can download the .dir file. Each time a new name appears in the text file, a new cast member is created for them. Whenever that person appears again,
that cast member is moved closer to me (by incrementing it's nearness index), and it becomes a bit brighter (by adding a few points to it's RGB value).
The nearness index becomes a vector and the user chooses a model for plotting the names on a disc. Do that a thousand times and you have three years of my life!
If anyone asks, i might write more...