Jung-Eun Shin

From the Other

From the Other is an information visualization monumentalized in large-scale on 60 by 42 inches piece of print paper. It visualizes people's responses to a virtual homeless avatar in Second Life, created by a Spain-based NGO Mensajeros de la Paz as a form of fundraising.

Expressing Information,Thesis

From the Other examines the bystanders phenomenon in the virtual world. On December 4, 2006 Mensajeros De La Paz, a Spain-based NGO placed a homeless child avatar under the Christmas tree of NBC building. He sat on newspapers and a cardboard box, with a donation box that will help the children in the real world. One intriguing part about this fundraising effort is the varying responses from the avatars who passed by the boy, ranging from very invalidating to extremely supportive of the virtual homeless boy's presence in Second Life. I gather the online data of reactions from Google search, then analyze and visualize the data points.

The visualization shows the striking lack of avatars who wrote their opinions about the homeless boy, as compared to the huge number of more than 6,500 who encountered it. Also, among those who wrote, a lot of their writing is not of their own, rather it is a link to a few activists who wrote extensively or copy-paste of their words. The chronology of websites that appeared due to this event, the linkages in between, and the originality and tonality of the words are visualized.