Elements by Element

prints graphic interpretations of the file folder structure of a USB storage device, according to different themes.


Elements by Element is a system that prints graphic interpretations of the file folder structure of a USB storage device. The visual translation process change according to different themes, there is four of them at the moment:

Once installed, it can take snapshots of any usb storage devices, like a visualisation of its inside space at a certain time. The result is a graphically readable space: we can count the number of files, see the folders inclusion, while proposing a new narrative.


The system - a usb hub, a computer and a printer - is displayed on a table, as a small stand that I manage during the exhibition. People are invited to activate it by coming with their own usb disk and choosing a theme they think fit the best for them and their datas. They can have their own custom poster printed and sold as a unique artwork.

Data Narratives

We constantly build sensibilities arround files: an .mp3, an old photo album from 2006, a software; and to where they are may it be in our pockets or in big centralized servers. Navigating through data and using file systems is now an ordinary part of our daily live, though it requires abstraction and the construction of mental spaces. At the same times the global picture of giant file systems in the world right now seems out of touch and to hold of some sort of mythologies.

This visualisation system explore the use of, constantly needed, narratives to approach abstract data structures. By using graphical simplified symbolic languages it reflects our data sensibilities, patterns and agencements according to different ontologies.

Web Tech

The process use html and css technology in order to give a graphical form to the arborescence structure. Because of the very nature of html, this allows an almost automatic transcription of:

  1. a tree structure encoded as text to
  2. a tree structure where the elements contain themselves graphically in a two-dimensional space.


This project was presented the 28/02/2020 on the occasion of the Algomancia exhibition, at Erg Gallery.