Darnell <3 Data

The mediated extension of self

Darnell is my phyiscal data collector buddy that collected my data over the course of a week. Focus was given on how the device was constructed, how the data was collected, how the data was mapped to graphic parameters, and how the final presentation of data was put together. This was a form of a meta-diary: information about the process of collecting and displaying information.

Time: Spring 2022 // Creative Tech 2

Role: Data collector and analyzer

Tools: temperature sensor, light sensor, sound sensor, p5js, esp32, AdafruitIO, Darnell


From Marx to McLuhan and beyond the idea that the technology - in the broadest sense - is what augments the human and makes us stand out among the rest of the animal kingdom has permeated the discussion about the relationships between ourselves and our media. Tools augment our physical ability, information storage and disseminaation techniques extend the capacity of our minds. But in all those conversations the focus has been disctincly outward, to the world outside of our selves and our bodies. I will ask you to see how the technolgy can be pointed inward.

For this project we are going to explore how digital technolgy extends and augments our senses, our bodies and our visions of ourselves. We'll start by creating devices that would allow us to collect data from our immediate surroundings; that would serve as extensions of our bodies and sensory organs. We will organize and distill this data to a meaningful set and explore ways of presenting it that could uncover possible underlying patterns.


I began by selecting my sensors and hiding them in a casing. I chose temperature, light, and sound sensors


I wired up the sensors...


... and got the data sent to Adafruit IO


Made him look cute...


...and took my new buddy around town with me :)

Day In The Life

I then used the data collected from each sensor from the week to drive the color, size, and location of 3D cubes. For my initial test, I split out the three sensors into individual colors but combined them all for my final visualization for aesthetic cohesion.


The act of building a collection device to carry around with me for a week brought my attention to means of data collection. In fact, I ended up bringing these concepts into my other studio class this quarter. I appreciated the time to reaffirm certain skills with hardware and software data collection as well as this introduction to cloud storage using Adafruit IO. It was challenging yet rewarding to find a way to work around the restrictions within the data collection systems to settle on a gratifying visualization by the end of this project.

Instructor: Maxim Safioulline