For my upcoming collaborative show at Miami University, I wanted to do something other than just have a comment book. Because of the nature of what we are doing with technology in the form of installation and involving the user in the environment, and because I want to be the best genY’er I can be, I wrote a sketch in Processing that uses the Twitter4j library for processing.
What happens in this sketch is it is actually two sketches. The first sketch runs in the background, kinda like a separate thread, this sketch runs the queries to twitter, writes them to a file; then finds all of the unique words within the whole document. It then compares each of those words to each tweet, and uses that count and an index of how relevant the tweet is in relation to the other tweets that showed up in the search. It then writes those numbers to a file indexed the same way as the whole file that contains the tweets, to keep a one to one correspondence. The second sketch is the visual part. This is the video shown here. It grabs all of the tweets and counts and pair them up in an object, and then displays it to the screen. Remember that number from the unique comparisons earlier, well it is used to determine the size of the rectangle drawn to the screen, as a visual way to see how relevant the tweet is within each of the other tweets.
Well thats the long explanation of what is going on behind the scenes, but what I intend to do with this is have it replace the comment book is in a gallery setting, because these days there really isn’t a need for a physical comment book when we can always have our comments in the cloud and access them anytime we want. Because o this non-spatial comment book, anyone in the world can has a direct impact on anyone else in the world who has viewed the show, either by video, photographs, or were actually there. Breaking down barriers of the specific gallery “space”.
There are a few problems I see. One, well twitter is free and it might be really busy that day. Two, it seems like everyone I talk to around here doesn’t use twitter, nor would they get an account just for the opening. Three, I have written the code so fat that it locks up, hopefully I can solve this problem, but you can’t change humans.