The Luxury of Protest¹ is a research platform focussed on computational history, archaeo-informatics, and generative visualisation. Employing spatial and temporal archaeological data analysis, projects² examine history through knowledge discovery, machine learning, and computational statistical approaches. Data quantified objects are used to discover and elucidate patterns, trends and relationships between events and material phenomena³ across hidden and heterogeneous axes.

  1. Peter Crnokrak is a Berlin computation artist, designer and researcher. Peter holds a doctorate in computational science and has lectured at a number of international institutions including the Royal College of Art, London College of Communication and Sint-Lukas School of Design. In 2010, he was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in acknowledgment of internationally <a href="url">recognised</a> expertise in design and data visualisation. Currently he is <a href="url">professor</a> and programme director of the Visual & Experience Design, and Generative Design & AI master's at UE Germany.
  2. Peter Crnokrak's <a href="url">publications</a> include over 125 books, journals and magazines. He has won a number of international <a href="url">competitions</a> including The Webbys, AIGA 365, German Design Award, International Society of Typographic Designers, and the European Design Awards. His work has been <a href="url">exhibited</a> internationally including Tokyo, Paris, New York, London and Los Angeles. Peter holds two <a href="url">patents</a> in systems design for object-oriented data visualisation.
  3. Focussing on the extremes of societal behaviour as a means by which to characterise the human condition, the practice is an experimental platform that utilises computational methodologies to communicate meaning in complex systems with work integrating research, data mining and statistical analysis.


︎1000MM X 1000MM
︎№ 3

Apocalypses re-Visioned is a study of literature, catastrophe culture, and the psychopathology of nihilism fetish. The analysis examines the incidence of the use of the word “apocalypse” in 20th century fiction and non-fiction literature as it relates to cataclysm events to determine what factors fuel the cultural predilection to fantasise the end of the world.

Although one would expect that cataclysmic events such as armed conflict would drive the incidence of “apocalypse” in literature, no such correlation exists.¹ So much so, that during the 20th century’s two most destructive wars, the use of the word was at its lowest in non-fiction literature.

A strong positive and statistically significant correlation exists between non-fiction and fiction incidences of “apocalypse”.² Though the relationship between fiction/non-fiction is positive in nature, the incidence of “apocalypse” is staggered in magnitude between the two – a pronounced peak in fiction literature occurs 27 years before an proportionately equivalent one in non-fiction. The analysis suggests that fictional representations of the end of the world drive socially relevant narratives much more than cataclysms experienced in real life.³

Apocalypses re-Visioned is an data-historical analysis of the cataclysm myth – a longing to confront a patently meaningless universe through the creative triumph of imagining an end of the world where humanity’s destruction means something.

We escape from a present too difficult to bear through a perverse and clichéd eschatological nostalgia presaged on an apocalyptic future. Humanity needs new catastrophe narratives to focus an engagement with more probable dystopias to come.

  1. Spearman's Rho Correlation analysis between non-fiction literature references to “apocalypse” and the frequency of armed conflict (number of wars per year) : N = 101, T= 2.4128, r² = 0.05554, Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient = 0.2357. P-value = 2 * Min(p, 1 - p) = 2 * Min(0.9912, 0.008835) = 0.9912. The result is not significant at p < .01.
  2. Pearson Correlation Coefficient analysis between fiction and non-fiction literature corpora : N = 101, X values mean = 3.1666734e-5, Y values mean = 1.9394667e-5, r = 30593.257 / √((69847.168)(21280.158)) r = 0.7935. P-Value is < .00001. The result is significant at p < .01.
  3. Fiction corpus references to “apocalypse” peak in 1972 – 27 years before an equivalent peak in references to “apocalypse” in non-fiction literature. The magnitude difference between fiction and non-fiction corpora references to “apocalypse” in 1972 was 3.2 fold : 9.85991e-5% / 3.10295e-5%, fiction / non-fiction respectively.

Nº 2

︎1000MM X 1526MM
︎№ 3

War is the last possible creative act…. the 20th century’s most important scientific discoveries and artistic creations are mapped¹ in time with the incidence of wars, massacres and genocide² to reveal reoccurring patterns of creative human output that flourish after conflict.

Though the cosmically balancing forces of creation, maintenance and destruction are integral to Eastern philosophies as in the Hindu triad manifestation of the supreme God in three forms of Brahma the creator, Vishnu the preserver and Shiva the destroyer, the interdependence of each on the other is rarely discussed let alone acknowledged in Western Judeo-Christian cultures.

Objects of War brings a computational perspective to the reconciliation of seemingly paradoxical approaches to the cosmological metaphor of creative and destructive balance in the universe³ with the philosophical doctrine of ultimate reality.

  1. The lenticular print displays a matrix of 288 creation events arranged in cells in chronological order reading left to right, and top to bottom. The creation events are the most important artistic and scientific creations of the 20th century. Each cell also displays the most proximate conflict event that preceded each creation. Tilt left reveals the date of the conflict and numbers of dead – tilt right reveals the creation date and details of the creation event.
  2. The six frame animation reveals the separation in time between creation and conflict events – entries where there is no visual change in date means both events occurred at the same time. Animation layers also reveal summation data and meta analysis statistics. Overall, 47% of the 20th century’s most important creations occurred during a conflict or war.
  3. The dataset reveals a surprising relationship where scientific and artistic creations often follow wars resulting in a significant positive correlation between destruction and creative output.

Nº 23

︎1000MM X 1000MM
︎№ 5