Before I say tell you this story I have to say a heartfelt thank-you to artist/inventor/ tech visionary Matthew Epler. I was having a rough week…one of those weeks that makes you wonder if fate is trying to give you a hint that every decision you’ve ever made since you were 14 is wrong and you should start over. Then along came Grand Old Party, a “data visualization project” that is also a line of anal sex toys, commonly referred to as butt plugs. Never ever did I think I’d say this, but GOP – you made my day.
A data visualization project is, from what I gather on Mr. Epler’s website, the visual depiction of statistics, in this case, with a 3D model of the popularity of GOP presidential candidates over a set period of time, in this case, fashioned as a butt plug. From the website:
“Each shape is determined by voter approval ratings amongst registered republican voters for each of the GOP presidential candidates. The height is a measurement of time, beginning December 10, 2011 and ending on Aptil 1, 2012 (bottom to top). The width of each object is the quantity by percentage (out of 100%) of approval for that candidate. All data comes directly from Gallup polls.”
So what you end up with is a Michelle Bachman’s approval ratings looking remarkably like a small standard butt plug, Rick Perry’s looking a little more, um, shapely due to a cinched in moment near the top, Ron Paul’s stats looking far more imposing than you’d have thought and Rick Santorum’s being so tiny in the beginning and so bulbous and top-heavy towards the end it can’t stand up on it’s own. You must – you must – go to the website (link above) and see the video, which shows each item and how it was made, for yourself.
And Perry and Bachman are going for a mere $45 a piece, though depending on who you are one must wonder what the words “Perry” and “Bachman” might do to your, um, desire. The other candidates data visualizations go for $65 and it’s $350 for the set.
Mr. Epler also does projects that don’t involve sex toys. “Movement #24,” for example is a graceful 3D depiction of a series of a dancer’s movements meant to be hung in the space in which the dance was performed so that though the dance is over the multi-dimensional image of the dance is captured forever. There’s also “Earth Printer,” a work-in-progress that uses seeds to draw a picture “to create computer generated drawings that grow out of soil.” You can see more projects on his site.
I’m inspired! And I’m excited! Can’t help wondering if he’ll continue his 3D sex toy coverage of the presidential race now that it’s down to the final two. Not to tip my hand about who I favor or anything, but my hopes are that if there’s a data visualization of President Obama’s popularity in November I hope it is of terrifyingly large proportions.