Berkeley TimeZone Illustration/Animation

Can data be expressed as works of art? To me, art is emotional, flexible, and soft, while data is logical, lucid, and hard. In this artwork, I am experimenting with the possibility of making data art. Using Adobe Illustrator and Adobe After Effects, I created two pieces of artwork expressing my point of view on time zone, a human-made unit, which interacts with us daily. I broke free from traditional understanding and communicated my notion through this illustration/ animation.

Units are created to measure and provide reference to immeasurable things. One example that we encounter daily, especially in this global society, is time zone. In this project, I created my vision of the time zone, emphasizing Berkeley students. It represents the network between Berkeley students around the globe. This project also serves as a fairness filter that shows the possible advantage or disadvantages towards receiving the same education one may have based on their physical location.

Based on the top ten countries of origin for Fall 2020 international student enrollment, I learned that over 90% of Berkeley international students are from the following countries: China, India, South Korea, Canada, Taiwan, Indonesia, Japan, Hong Kong, France, and United Kingdom.

A circle is divided into 24 wedges symbolizing 24hrs in a day with different shades of yellow and purple representing the shift of time from day to night. The clocks around the circle represented the corresponding time in the United Kingdom, India, China, and California. The rotation movement in the animation created a sense that time is constantly moving forward.

The icon of the ten counties along with the United States is placed at their relative time zone based on the Universal Coordinated Time. The United States is split into four pieces as the US has four different time zones. The movement of all icons flying in and stopped around the central “day” circle symbolizes a network of students around the globe becoming students at Berkeley. In the center, the bear represents Berkeley as the main focus of the piece.

The animation is created with various layers and effects to mimic the fireworks in the night sky. Fireworks attract attention for a short amount of time and are not often investigated deeply. Similarly, time zone creates minor inconveniences but are not usually given many thoughts.

Adobe Illustrator | Adobe After Effects

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