The People In My Neighbourhood

The animation you are about to view is a graphical representation of my relationships with all the people in my life. The number at the top of the screen shows the passing of time. Each time a new person enters my life, their name appears on the screen, crowded in amongst all my other friends. Every time i see them, or talk to them on the phone, or send them an email, they move out from the crowd, and their colour becomes more individual - red if i see them face-to-face, green for the telephone, blue for email. So my dad, Leo, is yellow because he doesn't have email, and spike is purple because i hardly ever talk to him on the phone (actually Leo is getting a bit bluey now that he's got a computer, and spike has started getting greener). In the snippet on the left, mike and rose are pure red because i had just spent a week at their house, seeing them every day. As the years (or the weeks) cycle past, you can watch people come closer and slip away, illustrating the cloud of people that i meet when i'm walking down the street.

Who Did I See Today

This is the name i give my list of friends. I have been compiling it since September 2004, and it was seven months before i started work on this animation. I decided to settle on a granularity of one day - you could map minutes or weeks, but days seemed right to me. I add someone's name to the list whenever i have actively communicated with them. so you can send me all the spam you want, talk to my answering machine all day long, but you only appear on the list when i reply. i can see you at a party but we have to talk for the interaction to count. The idea of quantising your relationships like this presents many problems. If i spend the whole day with you, your rating on the animation will grow exactly the same as if i see you in the street for five minutes (so leo should rate a lot higher than he does). It's difficult to know which new people are significant enough to include (i saw ninon every day for a week, but i only met ben once, and i knew he was going back to berlin), and when to include people's kids and partners (sorry dylan, you only rate when i see you without your parents). I haven't included anyone i work with, because i see them all the same amount, and only because i have to - unless i see them outside of work time (sorry gianna and john, you deserve a better rating).

I haven't included cathy at all. she makes the rest of you seem like total strangers. but i also haven't included the many people whose relationships are mediated through her (i think of tim often, i am included in his phone calls and his emails, but the actual contact is usually made by cathy).


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