Until recently the ability to collect, manage, analyze, and visualize large quantities of data was reserved for corporate or government institutions with the capital for new technologies and the man power to implement them. These organizations have a lot to gain from the collection of data, and a lot to lose if they don't.
Individuals are rarely capable of mastering the expansive knowledge bases and skill sets required to construct such systems. However, they have just as much of a vested interest in collecting, managing, analyzing, and visualizing data relating to these larger organizations, whose vast amount of influence and control has a great impact on their lives.
Power Structures intends to augment individuals by giving them the capability to collectively research and organize networks of influence. Much information about the organizations and individuals with high seats of power is freely available, but obfuscated, either intentionally or unintentionally through its distribution. Power Structures allows the user to take on the role of a journalist, and seek out citations relating to their subject matter. By amassing a wealth of published material, they can use it to connect relationships between characters in their narrative structure.
When people come together to attempt to shed light on powerful individuals and institutions, they can share their knowledge and perspective, and influence their community in future decision making. This augmented ability for the individual would tip the scale of power towards an increase in social justice.
There are currently:
3maps in the system.
Aaron Siegel is a second year MFA student in the department of Design|Media Art at the University of California, Los Angeles. His concentration is in computational information design and focuses on the creation of utilities leading towards an increase in social justice. This project is presented in partial fulfillment of his thesis requirement.