Imessages Data visualization

I started this project trying to work with Whatsapp Data. Retrieving the Data from Whatsapp is a bit complicated or need a longer process. I had downloaded IExplorer an app that Backup your phone and store it’s Data on your Mac. However certain Datas like facebook and Whatsapp need some sort of permission. I was able to retrieve a file SQlite, I downloaded the SQlite browser for it, it turns out it dissects every fragment of the data into a separate csv… meaning, Media.csv, messages.scv and chatlog.scv separate which makes it complicated to work with the data, because they opened funny not completed.


I found that with IExplorer it is easier to retrieve Imessages and directly convert them to CSV files. So I did that and combined few chats in one big document and played with the Data in P5js. I was able to make the Data be visualized but I think I need to work more on the output and the code to get a nicer better outcome.


P5js Sketch;

I tried to give each category a color to see the outcome proportionally to each other: messages, names, phone number, date.
The idea is to show the different visualization of one conversation according to another. This Data is a combination of of many conversation just to get the Data out.
AS soon as the visualization is fixed into something more appealing I will post the bulk difference of the same sketch changing according to the conversation.

var nanou;
var nanouArray

function preload() {
nanou = loadTable(
function setup() {
createCanvas(600, 600);

var nanouArray = nanou.getArray();
// var nanouArray = nanou.getArray();
//for (var i = 0; i < nanouArray.length; i++)
// print(nanouArray[i]);

function draw() {
this.x = random(width);
this.y = random(height);
this.diameter = random(10, 30);
this.speed = 0;

var nanouArray = nanou.getArray();
for (var i = 0; i < nanouArray.length; i++){
fill(255, 0, 0, 200);
ellipse(i+this.x, this.y + nanou.getString(i, “Message”), this.diameter, this.diameter);
//ellipse(i*10,100, nanouArray[i], 25, 25);
//ellipse(i*10,100, nanouArray[i], 25, 25);
fill(0,0, 255, 200);
ellipse(i+this.x+10, 100 + nanou.getString(i, “Phone Number”), this.diameter, this.diameter);

fill(0,255, 255, 200);
ellipse(i+this.x, 300 + nanou.getString(i, “Name”), this.diameter, this.diameter);

fill(40,140, 150, 100);
ellipse(i+this.x, 170 + nanou.getString(i, “Subject”), this.diameter, this.diameter);

fill(170,0, 200, 100);
ellipse(i+this.x, 450 + nanou.getString(i, “Attachments”), this.diameter, this.diameter);

fill(255,255, 0, 200);
ellipse(i+this.y, 400 + nanou.getString(i, “Date”), this.diameter, this.diameter);


this.move = function() {
this.x += (-20, -30);
this.y += (-40,-30);

data p5js


For the E-unconscious I will work with my Whatsapp history data, and my music library.



I have decided to dig into my Whatsapp conversations. As I use the app constantly with all friends and family members I think there is a lot to figure out from it. I’m currently going through the tutorials of processing related to data with Daniel Shifman and the codes provided by Dan O’Sullivan to teach myself to make the code in processing instead of P5.


2.Music Library

I found myself with age, shifting over the years towards a certain kind of music, but I’m interested in seeing if I could find some meaning to the choices I’m making and if there is a certain pattern I’ve been following. Linked to a certain mood. Don’t know yet how to go by it.

Though it seems illogical but I do want to see if there is a link between words and conversations in whatsapp and the music library.


Listening to yourself is hard but Talking to yourself is even harder cause we probably tell ourselves what we want to hear.
I have analyzed two experiences for talking to yourself:


Back home in Beirut I took Yoga courses for 4 month and at the end of each session we used to end it with a 10 min meditation. Back then meaning few years back I used to come out from the class feeling very positive and full of energy. It really had a certain impact on my well-being. I got to understand how one can work on himself, train the body and mind to relax and think in more focused manner. 4 month is not a lot of time but was enough for me to have a hint about how it’s supposed to feel.

Since I haven’t been taking care of my mind and body, but very little and for short periods of time. For the sake of exercise I had decided to go back to try meditation but this time experiment through as suggested an application. I chose Headspace, and did it several times over the course of a week. Weirdly this time after having to do the breathing exercises again and reworking the meditation techniques it actually felt very good but instead of giving an energetic outcome I almost ended up sleeping after each 10 min session! It is a weird outcome, maybe because I have insomnia problems and haven’t been getting much sleep. It is something I want to get into to understand why I have a horrible need to sleep afterwards…

2-Open the tap

In order to talk to myself, I happen to have this habit to take a piece of paper or open a blank page in a word document or notes and try to pour out my heart with words or very short phrases without censure. I call it the tap. Like when you open the tap water and let everything out, as if this piece of paper will be burnt right after. the interesting part is the amount of repetition you read and highlight after writing and writing and somehow I get to see what is actually bothering me clearly. More interestingly I hide them and forget about them and open them up after a month… It’s shocking to read your state of mind when you are out of it, you suddenly surprise yourself and always shocked to re-read yourself and you would understand and look at things in a different perspective because you took distance of that state of mind. I could share personal examples if asked in private (but will not post any on the blog) too private to expose. i have done this exercise over years and it always came beneficial in the moment itself where it gives the chance to let things out, meaning let the stress out, but also look at your states of mind from distance.


 part 1. Dreams.

I started this project wanting to listen to my dreams. I thought It is exactly where all the illusive awareness of our conscious takes a break and let the more truthful hidden layers of our selves come out… It is where the body surrender to our fears and desires. I had had a long talk with a therapist regarding dreams but what is more important than dreams is ‘nightmares’. According to the therapist, unlike the common knowledge of people, nightmares are a more truthful  expression of a certain desire or fear then in a nice dream. the latter is ‘nice’ because it is a masked metaphor or symbol to something very raw or brutal that we usually defend or hide by disguising it with something more acceptable or tolerant according to our moral and social values we grew up with. For instance “eating a yummy cup cake” is a nice dream, “being raped’ is an awful nightmare; the irony in the matter they could both symbolize a sexual desire depending on the person, the context of life, etc. The interesting difference to note is that people who are prone to see nightmares can listen more closely to their subconscious versus people who have nice dreams because they add layers and layers as a defensive mechanism to hide fears or desires.

Another aspect to nightmares is the recurrent nightmare that stems from a certain fear or situation. A personal example to that. Since I was a child, every time I am stressed over anything could be work related, love or a family situation.. I ironically dream this recurrent dream where it’s war, I’m hiding because shooting is taking place in the streets, I finally reach home, knock the door and another family opens the door for me.  Being a child of war, this dream somehow make sense, fear of war, fear of loosing the parents, etc.. But now that I’m 35 years old I still wake up in sweat, my heart bouncing in fear because I had this recurrent dream. Therapist said it made sense still, because whenever consciously I’m in a distressed situation, subconscious triggers this childhood nightmare… A long subject willing to explore and interested to see if I can work around it in this class.

First failing trials:


Ideally to listen and monitor sleep, as suggested by Dan O’sullivan I should have worked with the Zeo sensor to monitor the brain activity while sleeping. As Zeo wasn’t available, another suggestion was to use Kinect and monitor motion while sleeping. It remains physical true, but it could have detected some interesting aspect linked to how much one’s move a fidget while sleeping and see if we could detect a certain pattern linked to these motions over a certain amount of time (a week)..
Working with the Kinect for this particular assignment wasn’t the easiest thing to do, as I had to use a PC (true nightmare) I also had to learn how to make the kinect work, also had to work it through processing, language that I haven’t used before… It was too much learning in a very small frame of time. So after trials to make it work, watching tutorials, etc… I tried over 2 night and one afternoon nap to record the motion, but couldn’t. The video wouldn’t continue recording.

Though Dreams and sleep monitoring failed for this assignment, I at least learned how to work with the Kinect/processing and went through the experience and got some idea of how to make it function and the possibilities that could be done with it for different projects. However I will revisit sleep monitoring and dreams at some point with a different approach.

 part 2. Memories and Emotion

The Pulse Sensor

I moved from dreams trying to detect emotions through the pulse sensor though colleagues said you can only detect through the pulse sensor physical activities, I somehow had slightly different results through the set of experiences i tried I actually saw some visible graphical changes occurring in reaction to some strong emotions. I decided to dig in my memory and think of what would trigger some strong emotions and make my heart bounce. I decided to experiment with some war memories, those well no matter how time flies, no matter how we learn to control our emotions with age, how we teach ourselves to forget and how we master putting a poker face consciously.. those well even after 25 years still make my heart race… I guess you can’t always fool the elephant.
Memories can trigger a lot of emotions
I set a series of videos to watch while using the pulse sensor. same spot same place, not moving:

-Pulse sensor with two leds, blinking fading when a pulse is detected:

ROY small IMG_3944

-Pulse sensor with processing, found a library with a visualizer build for it:

Roy processing smallx

-Pulse graph from the Arduino plotter, sample on the pulse and how it gave a physical response when I coughed:

Below the set of experiments I conducted run different tests the past days but these are my latest and the one I selected:

1.First video a random video from youtube that i never watched before… to keep the element of surprise to test my emotions.

recording 3 war video SMALL

2. A scene from the movie West Beyrouth, a very good movie that talks about how the war started and depicts a very true reality that resembles very much my childhood at school. Specially that the scenes of the school in the movie are actually shot in my actual french school Lycée LAK. In the past I only watched the movie once long ago and never was able to re-watch it again.. because it reminds me of what I work hard to forget.

west beyrouth small and trimmed
3. Third video is a massive attack song entitled save from harm. not that this song is linked to war, but it’s a song that would trigger memories to compare with stronger emotions like war ones.

recording 4 massive attack song SMALL

4. Fourth video a song for Barbara called “mon enfance” my childhood
that also triggers a lot of emotions when i listen to it.

recording mon enfance barbara SMALL

As a final analysis, It is clear to me that the pulse is responding to strong emotions or memories. Even if the shift in the graph is not very big but it clearly shows a change in pattern. For instance as an example in West Beyrouth the graph shift many times but at the end of the scene when they show the school entrance a clear shift is shown; it is a very specific place where I used to hang out with friends during school. Same when kids where gathered in the school yard to sing the french Hymn and then the Lebanese one. Also very relevant while listening to Barbara, less than Massive Attack because actually the latter affects me less.