I don’t think, from research and personal experience, the every day human understands the level at which technology is advancing.
Sure, we have VR, AR, internet in the sky and iPhones but that’s not really what fascinates me.
Every piece of data you emit, whether it’s on social media or what you ask google, is collected. This data is then given freely to developers. The developers then use that data to make apps, add-ons; companies like Google even fund students to build innovative things using their ‘products’.
That’s one part of the puzzle. I can sign up to pretty much every app, online service or social media platform and get an API KEY. This allows me to effectively use their data, all of it. NASA allow me to use all their data regarding satellite positioning, twitter allow me to download every tweet in real-time about a certain topic and instagram allows me to grab the usernames of every follower I have, even comments.
I can take that data, say the things you say on twitter, and then put that into another API service that can work out sentiment, mood, personality. Then I can take the response of that and use it to find GIPHY .gifs that match the same keyword terms.
Art should no longer be a contemporary reflection on contemporary life through the lens of an artist. Instead the artist has the opportunity to reflect real-time contemporary life using real data.
This is my mission, I use data to create artistic works that explain the contemporary life in the 21st Centaury. I don’t do visualization, I don’t create work that ‘looks nice’. I creat work that can convey emotion And conversation through data readily accessible to anyone with an API KEY.
I can use this data to show objective truth on subjective opinions I have about society.
The main one being, we are bonded with technology. Everything we do today is somehow facilitated by technology and to be frank, it’s social media and Google.
We tell these two platforms everything, what we are, who we are, what we like, what we want to know and what we know. We are teaching them the human mind and also allowing them to directly effect us through it’s stimulus, whether that be a new like button or an extra feature.
I want to create artistic works that communicate this immediately, I want people to understand we live in a world that’s flat, not literally, but metaphorically underneath a neural network of data. Data that controls the cortex of our lives.
In this process I hope to explore the event horizon of technology and emotion.
Thomas Webb, 2nd October, 2018.