Backstory: 13 years of HIV/AIDS on Wikipedia

ICA observes the 25th Day With(out) Art, taking place on World AIDS Day, December 1, 2014, with a new web-based commission by Florian Kräutli

BackStory: 13 years of HIV/AIDS on Wikipedia is an online visualization tool which allows viewers to explore a subjective, contested, and constantly expanding history of HIV/AIDS, through a chronology of revisions to Wikipedia articles on this topic.


When you read the article about HIV/AIDS on Wikipedia, what you see is just the latest version of a document, that has undergone 13 years of collaborative writing and editing. This revision history, which is exposed through this visualisation, reflects the changing views and discourses around HIV/AIDS.

Data Acquisition

The basis for this visualisation form over 8,000 versions of the HIV/AIDS wikipedia article, which have been curated around three chosen keywords: Condoms, Viral Load and Safe Sex. Only paragraphs that contain these keywords are included in the visualisation in order to make the amount of data manageable.


The visualisation begins with the very first paragraphs that contain the chosen keyword. As you scroll down towards the present time, you'll see how the text has been edited. Move the mouse horizontally to select a different paragraph.
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