Tag Archive for 'social media'

AFD Eleven : Medals (After Stella)

Medals (After Stella)
(click to launch)

After a three month hiatus, A Feverish Dream returns with Medals (After Stella). This Olympics-themed piece pulls its composition cues from Twitter, presenting a changing array of concentric squares in gold, silver, and bronze. The piece searches Twitter for recent tweets containing the words "olympics", "medal", and at least one of the three medal colors. New qualifying tweets appear in the outer-most ring and are subsequently pushed towards the center. During competitions and telecasts, the composition will likely shift more frequently than late at night or early in the day. Once the Vancouver olympics close out on February 28th, the piece could eventually slow to a stop altogether.

The visual motif is borrowed from artist Frank Stella, whose black paintings hit me like a hammer and opened up my eyes to what Art could be. So when thinking about medals — or metals — and olympic rings, Stella’s black, aluminum, and copper paintings jumped to mind. Having already recognized Ellsworth Kelly’s influence in my work, I’m happy to have an opportunity to tip my hat to Stella with Medals.

Thanks again to Donovan Buck for his scripting expertise.



AFD Nine : People Like This

people like this
(click to launch)

While I personally prefer tweeting over ‘booking, I do value certain elements unique to Facebook. Specifically, I’m a big fan of the "Like" feature. The only ways to express any level of approval (or acknowledgment, for that matter) in Twitter is to either re-tweet an awesome entry or send a reply to the original tweeter. In Facebook, you can readily comment on any post, but then you have to actually have something to say. The Like feature, however, allows you to acknowledge the post and send a quick, public mark of approval without having to say anything. Think of it as the silent head nod from across the room. What’s also great about this feature is how it lets you discover new people based on common interests or tastes. If I "like" something a friend has posted, for example, and a complete stranger also likes it, I know that there’s at least one thing that said stranger and I may have in common. (cue mid-90’s pop song).

People Like This is a playful take on Facebook’s Like feature. As with Facebook, the content of this piece will largely be user generated. The opportunity to "like" something remains, but any specific object to like is gone. Participants who "like" this are encouraged to submit a custom identifier and URL via the “Like” link. These identifiers and URLs can be anything a user wants, and any user can "like" this multiple times using different identities. My hope is that a large directory of random but useful and/or clever links will eventually be created, and that the exploration of these links becomes part of the overall activity for this piece.

Thanks to Donovan Buck for the database and scripting.

AFD Eight : Ellsworth Kelly Hacked My Twitter

(click to launch)

Ellsworth Kelly Hacked My Twitter is a real-time chart of postings from people I follow on Twitter. I have manually reduced the individual avatars of those I follow to a single, representative color, and each block shown represents an individual tweet that has come through my Twitter feed. This method of reductive abstraction largely characterizes my pre-residency work, and 2007’s Barack’s Twitter even contains a "Following" grid in the right-hand column. What’s new here, however, is that the grid is being generated in real-time, with the top-left square representing the most recent post. The remaining squares are presented left-to-right, top-down in reverse chronological order. A viewer can actively change the composition of the grid by simply changing the size of the browser window. Rows and columns can be added or removed, causing the individual squares to shift and/or wrap, thus creating a new composition. While the actual content of the tweet is not shown, the author, time, and date of the post can be viewed by placing your cursor over any given square.

This piece was always conceptualized to be a color grid, but it wasn’t until I started Photoshopping mockups that I thought of Ellsworth Kelly and, specifically, his grid pieces (such as Colors for a Large Wall). The visual aesthetic is certainly similar, but the nature of how the two grids are arranged couldn’t be more different. Kelly’s color square pieces are arranged in an arbitrary sequence, whereas this piece is a direct chronological representation of my Twitter feed. While unpredictable, it is certainly not arbitrary. So, as a title, Ellsworth Kelly Hacked My Twitter only holds up on a visual level and not a conceptual one. I just think it’s more fun than, say, TwitterGrid, for instance.

Many, many thanks go out to Donovan Buck for providing the scripting that makes this piece possible. Donovan also acted as a brainstorming foil, and – most importantly – put up with a few bouts of designer indecision. Thank you, Donovan!

AFD Five : Journal of the Collective Me

(click to launch)

After launching When Did THIS Happen a few weeks back, I saved a Twitter search for "when did this happen" to see the piece had any legs. (It did not.) But I became fascinated seeing how the phrase was being used and by whom. It gave me a glimpse into this really diverse international community, where preteens, parents, grandparents, college students, working professionals, etc., all have a voice. And these individual voices can be sarcastic, inspirational, desperate, threatening, and even hateful. This project looks to unify all of these disparate voices into one.

Journal of the Collective Me (www.thecollectiveme.com) parses through the Twitterverse, presenting tweets containing the word "me" in real time. Other phrases and words have been filtered out to reduce spam and disguise the source. Content itself is not edited, so the incoming tweets range from happy to funny to sad to serious to obscene. Clicking on the current entry will produce the next, and so forth. Regarding aesthetic, Journal of the Collective Me was
inspired by the simple stylings of yet another Internet meme, Barack Obama is Your New Bicycle, which rose to fame during the election.

Very special thanks go to Donovan Buck, who bought into the concept and provided the wonderful scripting that makes it work.

AFD Three : When did THIS happen?

Very simply put, this single-serving page answers the question “When did this happen?