Much is made of the empowering nature of the internet. The way it can connect people globally, to share their knowledge and creativity. However, it’s worth remembering that over half the world’s population is NOT online, and they are filled with knowledge and creativity too.
One such non-citizen of the internet is my friend, artist, writer and musician, Tim Leopard. One of his most prolific artistic activities is the creation of drawings. It seems a shame that such a unique talent should be stuck denied the opportunity to share his work with the world – something that citizens of the internet take for granted.
So I automated him.
I’ve scanned (some of) Tim’s drawings, and built a bot to post one daily to Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr, opening up the work to previously unreachable audiences.
Migration Patterns is a new series of 13 portraits, painted onto the pages of a discarded road atlas.
Everyone has a story, and their story is there to be read on their faces. This is a collection of portraits of Brighton people, each painted onto a map of their adolescent homeland. The teenage years are when (where) we define ourselves. Each of the subjects have been drawn to Brighton from disparate parts of the country, and it’s my conjecture that their defining characteristics that brought them to this town were formed in those difficult teenage years.
Alongside the images are recordings of each of the subjects, recounting stories from their formative years, perhaps revealing an insight into the kind of people they have become, and the journey that led them to settle in Brighton.
Migration Patterns is being shown at The Dynamite Gallery, 13 Trafalgar St, Brighton from 30th of September until 14th of October.
Click on the images below to see the portraits and hear what they said.
The UK Government’s (lack of) position on the execution of Brexit would be laughable, were it not so crushingly destructive to almost every aspect of life in the UK. The word itself is often prefixed with vague and misleading qualifiers, that only serve to further baffle and confuse observers. ‘Hard Brexit’, ‘Soft Brexit’ or even a ‘Red, White and Blue Brexit’.
@everybrexitbot produces tweets of the form “[adjective] brexit”, alphabetically from a list of 1346 adjectives.
Obviously, a computer could produce all the possible combinations in a fraction of a second, but that’s not really the point. By releasing them sequentially, there’s a sense of anticipation about what kind of brexit might be coming next.
Not entirely unlike the current state of affairs within the Conservative Party.
Twitter lends itself to these forms, dropping in algo-phrases every few hours, some of which prompt a smile. More frequently they drift past, flotsam in the constantly spewing stream of social media ephemera.
It hardly needs saying, but we live in strange, unpresidented (sic) times. The President Elect of the United States of America, Donald John Trump, is an extraordinary individual, in every sense of the word.
One of his most notable attributes is his addiction to Twitter.
Seemingly without thought or consideration, he delivers bite-sized slices of wisdom whenever he deems fit. Whilst one may argue that this is precisely the modus operandi of the Twitter service, it seems ill-fitting of a man who is soon to command the most powerful country in the world.
Since Mr Trump chooses to tweet, it seems worthwhile to investigate what else he’s revealing along the way.
This bot parses Donald’s tweets, and performs a sentiment analysis to find out his mood. Generally speaking, this form of analysis is best used for larger volumes of text, and tends to be a bit hit and miss on a 140 character tweet. However, Mr Trump uses English at the level of an eleven year old child, which makes things easier.
This sentiment score is turned into an emoji, indicating his mood.
In addition, the bot examines the meta-data of the tweet and assesses the likelihood that it was authored by the man himself, or sent by a member of his team. It is generally accepted that Trump tweets from an Android device, while his team tend to use iPhones. Indeed, at least one member of his staff posts the geo-coordinates along with the tweet, allowing me to neatly create a map of where the tweet originated.
Fake News and Feelings
The term ‘fake news’ is applied to all forms of information, true or false, depending on political agendas. We are said to be living in a Post-Truth age. As Newt explains below, truth no longer matters, it’s all about how people ‘feel’
This bot does not try to understand the words of Mr Trump (a challenge for many), instead it mathematically analyses his tweets and presents the data in a deliberately vague and emotive manner.
After all, people don’t want facts, they just want feelings.