Visual Thesaurus

Hope this sounds coherent. Did some research… The visual thesaurus taps into google analytics, which is a massive massive database of how links happen in the web. google analytics, through some means… I guess through analyzing keywords?… in turn taps into all the online dictionaries and thesauri already out there and pulls in their data. Visual thesaurus thus acts like a search engine and does not have its own database… just a javascript application (and a fairly simple one at that) that creates the graphic from someone else’s data. Pretty clever. The graphic is modeled on the concept of a mind map diagram. this is a common tool used for brainstorming by a lot of folks. The script makes the graphic look very dynamic by kind of “bouncing” the data around as it populates the screen. Yet it is the opposite of mind mapping: those who use mind maps as a brainstorming tool encourage “irrational” or “nonsensical” associations by asking the themselves not to judge the connections made, that is, there is no rigorous “right” or “wrong” in the mind mapping… it’s like recording a stream of consciousness. By contrast, visual thesaurus is a very rational expression of known associations. Thus we can talk about this idea of an “irrational” thesaurus, the thesaurus of equivocation: puns, semantic shifts, metaphor, fallacy… this approaches the political syllogism in an interesting way. ” We must do something…This is something… Therefore, we must do this.”

I don’t know what all this has to do with climacteric, but hey, it’s out there…


About William Cromar

is an artist and educator exploring the relationship between digital and tactile media.
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3 Responses to Visual Thesaurus

  1. Yvonne Love says:

    I really like the mechanics for the visual thesaurus and I think it perfectly marries to the idea of Climacteric; “stream of conciousness” vs “rational expression” as wrapped around the idea that our life changes in stages every 7-10 years making what we know of ourselves unknowable. in our own rational we are irrational – hate tomatoes love tomatoes – love hate with peanut butter – these are simple ideas but for me they resonate on a much deeper level – as to who I thought I was, and who I am depending on who is looking at me and who i am standing next to – or what mirror i look into on what day…I love the connection between this and the pig decomposition – we were exploring something silimar there – maybe some of our visuals are driven by decomp – fruit – animals – man made waste – and the hard visuals become piles and stacks of elements.
    Also mirors could be interesting to actually use here – so richly metaphoric in literature – and perhaps they reflect words/people/materials i

  2. Yvonne Love says:

    cut myself off
    in the space….

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