S6X is a publication consisting of several parts that work together and separately, a total of 5,840 pages. It explores different sets of collected data from my six-year relationship with my ex boyfriend: sent and received I love yous with their dates and times; both of our geographical locations when together and apart along with the dates; phone calls (platform, time, date, and durations); selfies that were sent, received, and taken together; and all the emojis categorized and split by platform as well as tangible objects such as roses and stuffed animals.
In retrospect, this 6 year relationship was a waste of my time. The goal was to figure out how to visualize this data through graphic design in order to decipher and understand this relationship as well as to overwhelm the viewer with the massive volume of data and express the waste that came with the end of this relationship.
By collecting quantitative data, I avoided creating a sad and mopey breakup project. Instead, I used graphic design to visualize a load of data which I had collected and express it in a way that would allow people to feel what I want them to feel. The whole creative process I based myself on the terms frequency, density, duration, distance, and expansion in order to explore techniques of visualizing different data sets I collected. I experimented with timelines, accordions, zines, charts, and data visualizations. After these experimentations, I decided that each data set should be treated on its own and supplemented with annotations in order to create parts of a whole.
Choice of paper, format, and binding were also part of my creative process in order to express the aforementioned terms and rawness of data. Each part of S6X increases in width by 2 cm, allowing for a preview margin fo the next section. This allows for full immersion within one data set in addition to its annotated details.
The first part contains a calls log which is stretched to convey the duration of each phone call and exaggerate the waste of time. Each call is annotated with the date, time, and platform used such as Whatsapp, Messenger, or Facetime and whether its audio or video.
The second part is a play on "He loves me, he loves me not". I scanned and distorted pictures I had taken of the roses from my ex on a photocopy machine. The stretching reflects the nauseating factor that comes with the 6 years as a waste of time.
The third part is a full compilation of "I love yous" from different plaforms (iMessage, Messenger, and Whatsapp). A count of every 20 "I love yous" is annotated. The messages are printed on tracing paper to show the density and quantity.
The fourth part shows close up photography of stuffed animal fibers. At first glance, you can't really tell what you're looking at until you keep flipping through. This section exaggerates the wasted space in my room due to the stuffed animals.
The fifth section is also printed on tracing paper and shows my location versus my ex's whenever we spent kilometers apart during long distance or in the same country. A sense of legitimacy is given with passport stamps and the dates of the week as annotations.
The sixth section is the biggest chunk and shows the overload of digital computations that my laptop endured from the volume of photos stored. I translated each photo into binary which is annotated with its corresponding thumbnail, file name, size, dimensions, and device used. It was printed on photocopy paper to further emphasize the binary and waste.
The last section is a collection of the emojis frequently sent and received on Whatsapp, Messenger, and iMessage. Each emoji total is annotated and also notes the total from each platform.
I presented S6X as my Final Year Project at the American University of Beirut. It was commended for showing the power of graphic design no matter the subject matter. Jurors as well as students and faculty interacted with S6X in an intimate fashion and experienced the weight and overwhelmingness that I intended. People enjoyed the contrast and extraction of data from tangible real life items (roses, stuffed animals, passport) and technology (phone, laptop). The variety of the data sets and their annotations also added value for them. The physical outcome of S6X gave me closure and is synonymous to the baggage I carried with me and is now for the viewers to deal with.