Lina Maria Giraldo's Blog

Multimedia Artist and ITP Student

Final of Nature of Code

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May 10th, 2010 at 10:35 am

Final Proposal Fractal Map

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Fractal Map Fractal Map Fractal Map Fractal Map

Click in the image for the applet

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April 7th, 2010 at 2:38 pm

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Thesis Midterm Presentation

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March 11th, 2010 at 4:47 pm

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Thesis Proposal- Why?

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An interactive organic visualization tool that describes the progress of AIDS/HIV and Malaria, compared to the world history from a social economical point of view.


Sicknesses like HIV and Malaria are very common in developing countries especially those in tropical climates. It kills millions each year and sets back progress in these regions. This is why I want to work on this issue for my thesis. I believe it is a problem too big to be ignored and there is still much awareness that needs to be created. For many years, I have worked on social issues through Art and it is only logical that this be the culmination of my Master’s degree. Throughout my work, I have always chosen regionalized social issues such as immigration and worked towards a more globalized point of view. This time though, I will be starting from a global perspective and working my way down to the specifics of the diseases in each region.


As conclusion for the last two years of hard work, it’s time to finish and do my thesis. A very big word, thesis…this is when the question “why?” appears. This is a question that is really upsetting me. I knew I really wanted to be working with visuals, play with color, experiment new techniques and tell stories. Sometimes the topics I choose are not the most uplifting. I’ve always been inspired by social issues, like unequal rights, language challenges, immigration, fumigation of illegal crops and drug consumption to name a few. So the fact that I can play with a screen, collecting data and do a visualization, fascinates me. It seemed very far at first considering my programming skills, but the fact of taking the risk and intuition, (which at first was not too clear) filled me with courage and curiosity.

In a few words, I know how much I wanted to do this visualization and seem to be the right path for me, now there must be a strong social reason. My problem at the beginning was there were too many reasons.

The overlapping of facts in mankind fascinates me like education, wars and wealth interlace with health and how they define our path and development. I’d like to recreate the history of AIDS/HIV and Malaria from the last ten years I would like to see the evolution from a social point of view. Are the governments democratic? Are they involved in any kind of war? What are the levels of education?

As a goal I would like to find a common point between the social issues that are behind the problems of AIDS and malaria and economical/political circumstances that are happening in the countries most affected by these diseases. By searching for the visual correlation of these elements, I want to find a different way to explore the political boundaries to preventing their transmission.

User Scenario

Connect each person (or every 1000) with a particle in a system and have then affected by the disease in the model. 

The user will have the option of intervening in the model by changing different aspect like education, type of government and gender. as well as adding elements of positive change like donations, condoms and mosquito nets just to name a few.

I will be approaching it from an aesthetical point of view that will make it interesting not only at the scientific level, but also on a playful and captivating manner.

Screen visualization

When the user comes online or stand if front of the screen, they will be asked which model they want to run: HIV or Malaria. Once the model starts running, the user will first see historical data running against the disease and socioeconomic elements. The model will reach time 0 or today, when the user can begin making changes to the way we can cope with the disease. This will provide the rest of the simulation, along with the expected extrapolation of the socioeconomic data

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February 25th, 2010 at 3:59 pm

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Nature of Code midterm proposal

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Midterm Presentation-Nature of Code

Human history is a collection of data, represented in many different ways.
I’m going to map data to a space/time artistic representation using latitude and longitude. In a few words, I would like to have a dynamic visualization that describes cholera, aid, HIV and malaria from a social point of view. I would like to have an organic net that interacts with each cell. The overlapping of facts in mankind fascinates me. Education, health, wars and wealth define our path and development.

For the midterm I would like to have a silhouette of a map that hosts different organisms that coexist and attack each other. When I say silhouette, I imagine a map being drawn by the disease as they grow and interact.

For the first sketch, I’ve used box2d and it’s been very convenient but I’m open to experiment with toxiclib. It looks wonderful if it’s used with particles.

Please click in the image for the applet

The history of diseases in mankind is long and full of interesting paths.

midterm proposal nature of code first early sketch from Lina Maria Giraldo on Vimeo.

Sketch with after effects from Lina Maria Giraldo on Vimeo.

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February 24th, 2010 at 11:00 am

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Blockages Thesis Week 5:

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I’d like to create a visualization of Aids, Cholera and malaria that describes the world’s history from another point of view. I want to create my view from the world using the most common sickness that attack mankind. I’d like to visualize how fragile the Humankind is.


My goal will be to connect each person with a point and that point will be represented or affected by the disease. Other point will represent the diseases, including malaria, cholera and aids as well as the healthy individuals.

Are they connected with poverty, war, nationality and year?


I would like to represent my point of view, my own vision.

What I’m saying?

I’m representing an organic visualization of disease on the world
What is my inside trying to say?
Who I’m saying this to?

Why I’m exited?

I’m exited about my thesis because:
It involves visual work, which I love. I like it so much that I want to take the challenge of perfecting the use of tools like using processing, social input and data.

What I’m not saying?

Words related with my thesis:

Clock Ticking

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February 18th, 2010 at 6:30 pm

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Exercise week 4, Nature of Code

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Here is my example using box2d, my final goal is to disappear the red cells as soon as they touch the Disease and a second one where the virus will attach to the white cells. The solution is to create a contact listener so I know the values of the collision and can create functions like destroy and attach. The code is not very easy so I haven’t been able to figure it out, even with the help of Daniel Shiffman.

After I created the world and set the variables I realized that something was missing. I thought to create walls with lines that move with time, and noise. I looked at a lot of videos of cells and processing examples and I found a wonderful example in open processing.

After you mouse clicked the noise function adds massive points into the background. The cells and the disease have problems moving faster but when the toxin is flushed, they bounce between each other graciously again.

I’m exited about better understanding the contact listener function in box2d and experimenting more.

Bellow is the applet

Please click on the image to the applet

Bellow is the video

Disease from Lina Maria Giraldo on Vimeo.

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February 17th, 2010 at 12:35 pm

Exercise week 3, Nature of Code

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I’m trying to recreate the movement of the bacteria but it’s far from being real. I’m using processing changing the oscillation example from Daniel Shiffman. The video turned out to be sort of old-school with the pixelation.


Incorporate oscillatory motion into a previous assignment (or create a new one)
Create a moving body with a shape made from oscillating parts

Here is the link to the applets:

Click on the image to the applet

Click on the image to the applet

Cholera Simulation test from Lina Maria Giraldo on Vimeo.

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February 17th, 2010 at 12:30 pm

3rd Presentation Thesis /Timeline

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Click on the image to see detailed timeline

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February 11th, 2010 at 4:09 pm

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2n Presentation Thesis Mood/Board

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I’m writing about my thesis idea and finally it’s more realistic. Three months to develop a new project is quite difficult and challenging. Many people have been working on their idea since they started school, but I decided throughout the master take different sets of classes to gain diverse skills to help communities. I took some programming, video and several design classes including solar design and design for Unicef, hoping that they will help me achieve my goal.  

My background is as a visual artist and sometimes my solution to solving social issues has been a creative response and not so much a practical one. After working in the most recent project with Latin-American immigrants: “Do you have a dream?”, I realized that I spent most of the time doing managing and administrative stuff like sending emails, phone calls, writing proposals for each school, etc. I got stuck waiting for responses of people or cancellations in the last minute. I understand this is a good part of project development so three months is definitely not the right time frame to develop a social project.

I have this great opportunity to work with Issa Nyaphga and his village in Cameroon. One of the ideas was to work in an educational tool that would help prevent HIV/aids, cholera and malaria. After I showed the presentation to my class, I started working and creating a timeline of tasks and future obstacles that I could encounter. I found myself confined in stress and anxiety because of the amount of work and the short time I have (two months and three weeks). It was irresponsible with the community and myself if I didn’t spend the right time doing the right research. I decided to experiment with the media, visualization and data so I can develop as much as possible and not have limitations of working with a particular community. I usually work from the particular to the universal but at this time I will do the opposite.

I will keep working on AIDS, Malaria and Cholera but using, simulations, visualizations, data and tones of creativity. My goal is in three months to have a visualization that will collect all this data in a fun a creative way in one application.

Bellow is my mood board that might give you an idea of what is the feeling I want to achieve:

2nd thesis presentation mood/inspiration board from Lina Maria Giraldo on Vimeo.

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February 4th, 2010 at 5:20 pm