[ISEA2022] Paper: Alexa Bonomo — Codex Endogenous: Designing Interactive Self Data Visualization Tool for Trauma Impacted Individuals


Short paper, theme: Dataviz, body and cognition
Venue: CCCB, date: June 13

Keywords: Data Visualization, Mental Health, Journaling, Therapy, Tools, Generative Art

This project is situated heavily in generative design as an art form. Imagery is created by constraints defined by the data that is streaming through a program. The art form originated in cybernetics and general systems theory in the late 1960’s. Roy Ascott coined the term “cybernetic vision”, referring to concepts drawn from computer science. Methods of computing to mathematically display graphics using algorithms derived from artificial intelligence or artificial life.

Codex Endogenous utilizes self-tracking, otherwise known as The Quantified Self. Dating back to the first cave paintings, humanity has been compelled to record themselves for thousands of years. When this complex human tendency to preserve themselves combines with the power of computation, the conversion of human bodies and minds into data flows are figuratively reassembled for the purpose of self-reflection and interaction. The quantified self is defined by using “invisible technology” in order to collect data that reflects the daily lives of people, like a data double. Motivation to collect such data comes from a desire to change or improve.

The Quantified Self is best described by Gary Wolf as “self-knowledge through numbers.” William James’ theory of the consciousness of the self and the study of coping inspires drawings that retell personal narratives. Codex Endogenousis a project that reveals and visualizes the beauty and morphology of a “self” and its environment. Here, “codex” refers to a collection of pages stitched together, and “endogenous” is a term in cognitive neuroscience used to describe phenomena that is spontaneously generated from an individual’s internal state. Every day, quantifiable information about the self is produced and collected like pages in a book. Daily data drawing is a method of journaling with naturally emitted data from the self, creating an oracle into an individual’s brain body connection. This paper evaluates the characteristics of what daily data drawings are, methods of collecting data, and the possibilities of using data collection and visualization as a mindfulness practice for people who are diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

  • Alexa Ann Bonomo (USA) is an interaction designer, researcher, and educator. Her research and creative practice is situated between human-computer interaction, data visualization and interactive new media. [source: https://alexaann.net]