Ahead of the 2015 Oscars ceremony, one of the big stories was the lack of diversity among the nominees. I took a look at nominations for Black, Hispanic and Asian people throughout the history of the Academy Awards, and used marbles coming together to form an Oscar statuette to represent the racial disparity of winners in the top categories. The resulting video was featured on BuzzFeed and Salon, as well as DesignTAXI, kottke.org and both Co.Design and Co.Create at Fast Company.

An updated 2016 version of this visualization, which was originally done as a self-released project, received a new round of press and was acquired by Free Speech TV (home of "Democracy Now!") and shown as an interstitial in the days leading up to the ceremony.

Gold marbles closeup
Head and shouldes of an Oscar statuette formed by several 3D spheres
Lots of 3D marbles brought together to form an Oscar statue, as part of a data visualization

Through varying shot angles and repetition, I tried to build some drama in a way that suited the subject matter, perhaps also sliiiiightly humorously echoing the kind of heavy-handed prestige filmmaking the Academy tends to reward. The music, in particular, is really quite plodding — I used a royalty free string arrangement but slowed it down considerably, as though it's suspended in deadly, very sad syrup.

Check out additional projects on the visualization page.