Command Center

Command Center replays the last 150 years of history, by showing the frequency of terms used in the New York Times. Over a four minute period, the four digit LED display counts the years from 1851 to 2008. At the same time the gauges move to their respective values, each of which represents the number of articles containing a that term in the New York Times. This slow pace of information transmission allows the viewer enough time to register the state of each year while still witnessing the trends in changes over multiple years. As the forward procession reaches 2008, the gauges pause and the present state of history is shown, giving the viewer enough time to reflect on this information. In a final gesture, the years recede as the last 158 years are played backwards in 30 seconds. This change in cadence serves to set up a different reading of time. The 158 years go by quickly enough that individual data points are impossible to read, but peaks can be observed and processed.