History Flow / Chocolate by artists Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg.

An investigation of the dynamics behind editing in Wikipedia provides a chronicle of a collaborative process that is often less than harmonious.

History Flow — "Chocolate" vs. "Abortion"

In these visualizations contrasting a highly controversial entry (abortion, below) and a very popular one (chocolate, at left), each color corresponds to a different contributor.

History Flow / Abortion [ Lightbox Interpretation ]

Zigzag patterns represent debate. Each vertical "revision line" indicates the beginning of changed or updated text, and its length indicates the length of the text, rendering with relative precision the level of debate surrounding the topic. Blank zones show points where an article has been completely deleted - a common phenomenon on controversial topics.

About The Artists

Fernanda Viégas is known for her pioneering work on depicting chat histories and email.

Martin Wattenberg's visualizations of the stock market and baby names are Internet classics.

Viégas and Wattenberg are also known for their visualization-based artwork, which has been exhibited in venues such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York, London Institute of Contemporary Arts and the Whitney Museum of American Art. You can learn more about the artists at hint.fm.

About The Art

History Flow is imaged at true high resolution to glossy photographic paper using archival pigmented inks. 11 inks are used in the creation of the piece to accentuate the full gamut of HDR color. Face-mounted to plexiglass, the visualization has the look of blown glass.

"History Flow (Chocolate)" is shown at left with "10ptsifmaxnumcub++fn3-5x-c" by David Victor Feldman and Tophet by William Paul Gaetjens.

You can see more work by both artists at Point.B.