Stacks are networks of objects from from the collection of the V&A. The hyper-stacks system treats the collection itself as an object, with its own histories, relationships, ideas and biases.
The system doesn't understand what the collection is, or the objects are (or what news stories are really about), but it understands that they comprise a set of relationships. These relationships are embodied by tags: objects which share a number of tags have some kind of relationship: and by mapping these relationships we can draw connections between objects, and the collection as a whole.
To create the tags, the descriptions of every digital object, available from the V&A's public API, was analysed with Open Calais. These tags were then cross-referenced, to build a graph of the collection, connecting every object.
These relationships are metadata: data about data. By looking for objects which, for example, share unusual tags (ones which aren't applied to many objects) but don't share more common ones, we can find unusual and surprising relationships between objects. We can also introduce new collections of tags, such as those found in news stories, to build new stacks which may shed light on those stories and objects in unexpected ways.
Here are some hyper-stacks created automatically from newspaper headlines during the All of This Belongs to You exhibition:
Here are the most recent hyper-stacks created by visitors to this website:
And here are the five stacks which make up the Five Eyes installation. Find out more about the installation.