"What I See When My Eyes Are Closed" is an online data visualization project that shows the approximate colors seen by users when their eyes are closed. The data was gathered using Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, a site for crowd-sourced labor. Participants closed their eyes, stared at a white screen, and recorded the color they saw, along with their name and location.
Research into "soft data" is of particular interest in my work: data sets culled from cultural or personal sources bring a lack of utility that aligns this kind of information with poetics and removes the often-arbitrary relationship of data-point to image. Specifically, "What I See When My Eyes Are Closed" gives a very human interaction with anonymous Mechanical Turk workers, who are located across the globe. Clicking on a color fills the screen for an immersive view that simulates a temporal shift into that person's body.
A longer text outlining the project and its relationship to data visualization was published in March 2012 in the Parsons Journal of Information Mapping.