Made to Measure by , Kulturstiftung des Bundes, Studio NAND for Group Laokoon

With "Made To Measure”, the filmmaker group Laokoon illustrates how online companies, advertisers, and other data traders use the information they collect – by telling an interactive story based on the submitted data of a real person. Studio NAND helped them realize that vision.

In 2020, Laokoon called for participants in an artistic experiment. ‘All’ they would need from them was their entire Google history. They selected one person from all volunteers that responded and started to embark on a unique journey into a hybrid mix of film documentary and interactive storytelling experience.

Among many other components, Studio NAND has designed and built a data-based storytelling experience for this project that heavily used data visualizations to communicate.

First, and as part of the initial data exploration, we have built an internal research tool. This tool helped the team find occurrences and patterns in the raw dataset of 50k+ entries of Google searches and site visits. The prototype has built the foundation for the final data visualization in the project which allows visitors to explore part of the Google data themselves. It also helped the team to make the right decisions for the project based on the actual data.

Secondly: The whole interactive narrative reveals itself through data fragments that uncover details about the experience and identity of the character – an Austrian woman in her 30s. Data visualizations and UI elements are overlayed on top of the movie in real-time at key moments of the narrative. Visitors can explore the main characters data, e.g. search for answers in her Google search history to questions asked by the narrator. Such interactive data elements and tasks follow visitors throughout the experience, like a survey.

Third and last: Without the knowledge of the visitor, the project itself collects information about them as they interact with the experience. How quickly do they respond? What device are they using? What answers are they giving? From this data, the website creates a tracking profile of the visitor itself. This profile is presented as a visual data portrait during the climactic moment of the narrative. They can explore their own behavior and finally download their visualized profile as a memory to “Made To Measure”.

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