500 years of humanity’s most important scientific discoveries and artistic creations are mapped¹ in time with the incidence of wars, massacres and genocide to reveal reoccurring patterns of creative human output that flourish after conflict².

The visualisation is an interactive five frame lenticular panel³ where tilt left or right cycles through creation events pre- and post- conflict respectively, and reveals statistical analyses along with numeric information overlays.

  1. Creation events are represented as 1 px white lines, and are shown as those that occurred 5 years before a conflict (left half), versus those that occurred 5 years after a conflict (right half).
  2. 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. The analysis additionally reveals that artistic creations tend to cluster much closer to conflict events than scientific discoveries – one possibility is that artistic expression is a positive response to, and is driven by, the culturally disruptive effect of war. Even so, one could posit scientific innovation is necessarily tied to conflict as wars become more and more technologically driven.
  3. The panel is a single axis timeline spanning 1500 CE at the bottom to 2000 CE at the top. Frequency analysis of event counts 5 years pre-conflict versus 5 years post-conflict, shows a significant increase in creativity after periods of social upheaval.