“The…” is an interactive installation that considers the theories of David Bohm, that it is not the mind that generates thoughts, but a thought is a universal entity that enters our minds and influences our actions.
Bohm states: “We are all linked by a fabric of unseen connections. This fabric is constantly changing and evolving. This field is directly structured and influenced by our behavior and by our understanding.”
Bohm suggests that “collective thought and knowledge have become so automated that we are in large part controlled by them, with a subsequent loss of authenticity, freedom and order”
Taking social media such as Twitter as an expression of a global thought and making it visible, we wanted to see if that it is indeed a truth or whether we can take some control of it and influence the course of “our thinking”.
The interactive installation “The…” enables viewers to interact with ‘thoughts’ by casting their shadows on the wall of a gallery. Using body tracking, the shadows of the viewers are cast onto the projection and engage the viewer into an interactive play with “thoughts” sourced and screened by AI from live twitter feeds. The AI filters thousands of tweets a second to remove the inane and banal to finally select a tweet that is meaningful and (hopefully) poetic.
Although seemingly accidental and random, displayed messages are the result of algorithms that construct searches from a pool of words and then reach out to twitter, finding users who express thoughts in connection to the search words and phrases.
As the “thought” chosen by the AI returns to the application, it is animated from the head of the viewer and then returned to either another viewer or back into the cloud. Once this process completes new words are selected and search process begins again.
The project was featured on the BBC website: “Code Masters of the future”
“The…” was conceptualised and created by Kasia Molga and Brendan Oliver, produced by V2_ Institute for the Unstable Media and shown in ISMAR@SHIFT Festival in Basel, Switzerland.