Avant-Garde Art / Wk 6 / Final


ARTWORK: Found Tweets Colorized

DESCRIPTION: 9 small rectangular canvases (6″ x 4″), painted with a range of skin tones and displaying a single found tweet referring to essential human needs and wants.

I started thinking more about immigration after doing my first assignment for a Data Art class.  My project needed to be more abstract and less info graphic-like with lists and numbers. This led me to try to think more about the issue of how to capture more of the essence rather than showing data in a graph or bar chart. When you look around yourself, especially in NYC, all the people that you encounter or ride the train with makes you question, “why does a person or family leave their original country?” And it mostly comes down to the essential human needs of food, money, work, second chances, safety, religious freedom and a better life. Since I just finished a Twitter Bot class and learned to do searches with the Twitter API, I wanted to try something with that. For the last 10 days, I took sample of data of each of the words [money, work, second chances, safety, immigration and a better life] and collected the results. And since results for the morning might be greatly different than results at night, I tried to tooks samples of data from each hour of day.

Monitors, Projectors or Paintings? Figuring out how to display the piece
I liked how my prototype as gifs could show more tweets and my original idea for the piece was to figure out how to get real time tweets on the searches, but I realized after reading through the data that there’s a lot of things to filter out, like retweets, racist comments, spam and I’m still trying to figure out how to code that. The process of reading all the data and trying to see patterns and find meaningful tweets, I felt like this piece was turning into a collage by using found tweets by chance occurrence. And with Marina’s feedback in mind and references that she suggested, I decided to turn this into a series of paintings which would help to make it be object like and a more permanent way of capturing a digital moment that would otherwise be lost in the digital abyss. The only downside is how to pick 1 tweet to represent a whole word found.

Tweets Colorized: Many Skin Tones
I had an idea at first to photograph people and color sample their skin tone colors for a more actual representation, but lucikly one of Marina’s references, she sent along the colourstudio site and I used that as a guide for the background colors of canvases.

This piece is a mash-up of many different artists’ works that I’ve encounter during this project and have been inspired by. This has been done before and to me this reflects conceptual and procedural art in the sense that it’s not the actual product, but the idea that’s impactful. Through this project, I gained a lot more insight into the many different meanings of these ‘words’ from many different kinds of people/tweeters. Twitter contains  a lot of noise that you would rather not spend your time reading, but sometimes there are a few ideas or statements that could resonate. And Twitter is a good places to get different perspectives after an specific event or a moment.

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