Collapsing time

I just came across the work of Stefanie Posavec (via Feltron), and love these images of first chapters of books based on the number of words in the sentences, drawn in a single image.

The Great Gatsby
First chapter of The Great Gatsby

I don’t know if there is a term for these kind of visualizations, but for lack of a better word I think of them as “collapsing time”. They take something linear, that happens over time, and compress it into a single image, so you get an entirely different representation of the work.

Another example are these “movie barcodes” from There isn’t a lot of information about the process, but seems condense each frame of a movie into a single pixel wide, and all the frames are then combined it into a single image. It gives a really interesting view of the overall tone of the movie, and acts like a finger print.

The Darjeeling Limited movie barcode The Darjeeling Limited movie barcode

Here’s another that takes a song, analyzes the audio spectrum, and plots it in a cicular waveform. It actually does it in real-time while the song plays, so you get a single image representation, and see how it evolved.