Computational Fables

Interactive Video Installation


Computational Fables is an interactive video installation that examines the representational tropes of data analytics companies’ promotional materials. The promotional videos are annotated for frequently occurring tropes, including networks, fingerprints, outer space, glitches and control rooms. The tagged clips for each trope are algorithmically combined to produce videos that juxtapose the different companies’ approaches to the same images and metaphors.

In their original context, the videos were intended to market data analytic products to government agencies and corporations to use for marketing and public dataveillance. Participants can select between the different trope compilations via a control panel. By recombining the common metaphors used to promote data analytics products, Computational Fables reveals the false promises and mythologies inherent in the industry’s rhetoric.

Support for Computational Fables was provided by Northeastern University's Dean's Fellowship for Data Storytelling and Boston Cyberarts Gallery. This project is a collaboration with Derek Curry.