Erica Lazrus

16 Feb 2016

What I am interested in doing for my map/environment visualization is not so much the visualization of a place but rather the visualization of places in time. About a year ago, I came up with the idea of creating a visualization for understanding and exploring the Jewish concept of time, which understands time not just in a linear fashion but in a circular fashion as well, together creating the idea of a time spiral. As Eitan Press of the Huffington Post puts it, “Movement on a spiral implies growth: In traveling on a spiral, there is a circular motion revolving around a center, but it is also combined with a vertical movement. You don’t come back to the same place you started but a similar place farther along the spiral” (Time Spirals and Other Insights into the Jewish Calendar).

From the Jewish perspective, time progresses forward from a singular starting point long ago, counting the progression of days into weeks into months into years. At the same, each Jewish month is imbued with certain spiritual qualities so that a single month will bring about the same spiritual energies into the world each year. In this way, similar points in time year to year should show certain similarities but hopefully also together tell a story of forward growth.

To allow for the exploration of this concept, I will be creating two inherently linked timelines: one in the familiar linear fashion and the other in a circular fashion that depicts the different Jewish months. The timelines will contain major events in history and will eventually allow for the user to add their own events and explore there own growth. I am considering whether the linear timeline will be labeled according to Jewish or Gregorian dating conventions, but whichever the case, I will need to come up with a way to the the date conversions similar to this website.