Drag and watch the Senators scurry

State Machine, by Ben Cerveny and Max Carlson, is a very clever flash-based dynamic visualization of the relationship of the members of the United States senate to different sources of campaign funding.


The system extracts information from opensecrets, a database which lists the donations to political campaigns in the USA. The North American political scene in this piece is uncovered as a genuine dance of interests.

Each green + represents a source of lobbyist funding in Washington. The size of the + indicates the relative amount of funding that sector has input into the political process. The collage of dots are representations of US Senators. Their coloring reflects party affiliation, while their size indicates the amount of money they have accumulated in their campaign finance funds.
In this simulation, the Senators are attracted to the lobbyist broups based on the amount of money their campaign has received from that source. By moving one of the funding + around the screen, you can see how much force it exerts on each Senator.

State Machine is part of Randonnée: A Walk Through 21st Century Landscaping, Sonar Festival, Barcelona, Spain, June 16-18.

Via Elastico.