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Nominated for 2018 AHO Works Award in Interaction Design

Longlisted for the 2019 Information is Beautiful Awards.

Wiki Receipts was made in response to a brief asking us to choose an existing dataset and create a connected object that allows you to receive live updates about changes to that dataset. The object should explore novel and intriguing methods of information delivery. 

I chose to work with Wikipedia article revision histories.

We associate Wikipedia with transparency, but much of the editing process is opaque to us. If we look closer, we start to see that some articles are edited much more than others. If the most edited article of all time is about World Wrestling Entertainment (it is), what aren’t we talking about? I began to see the rate of Wikipedia edits as a measure of the internet zeitgeist, of what holds our collective attention. 

Wiki Receipts is a pair of objects that show the accumulation of Wikipedia edits on any two articles. Each object is assigned a specific article, and with each edit made that day, it prints an increasingly wider line. Each object begins to run with the first edit made to an assigned article that day. Wiki Receipts aims to visualize and materialize the online knowledge we are choosing to produce.

I considered manifesting these edits with other outputs (e.g. light, sound). But, I wanted to demonstrate the accumulation of edits made over time, and create an analog manifestation of this digital activity of building/piling up knowledge.

The model was developed through several rounds of prototyping. All materials are restockable. The charcoal is self-weighted, ensuring contact with the paper as it wears down.

Materials: Particle Photon (Arduino code), servos, charcoal, acrylic, receipt paper.