Culturegraphy
Culturegraphy
Culturegraphy
Culturegraphy
Culturegraphy

Culturegraphy

August 2014

Culturegraphy visualizes the exchange of cultural information over time. Treating cultural works as nodes and influences as directed edges the visualization of these cultural networks can provide new insights into the rich interconnections of cultural development such as movie references. All findings were made in a process that involved network scientists, a media theorist, and a sociologist. The role that visualization can play in bridging scientific communities was central to this work. In this sense, the resulting visualizations were process to bring researchers from different disciplines together. Tradionally using different methods, physicists increasingly ask similar questions as media theorists or sociologists as they study the dynamics in networks. Visualization can serve as a common language that brings fields together, shows differences, but also has its own idiosyncratic views.

We investigate how to visually explore the dynamics of memes [2, 5, 6] traveling through cultural history and present the first findings that we were able to make by visualizing this model of culture. We ask ourselves what hap-pens when culture is seen as a superorganism in which knowledge is copied, combined, and transformed from person to person as well as their artifacts over time in a network of interactions. What can we learn from visual representations of such a relational model of culture? The visualizations are based on movie references from IMDB (Internet Movie Database). We were able to make findings on the macro level of the graphics and on the level of each individual movie through the help of experts in different fields.