“Media, like nature, abhors a vacuum” – in ajournalistic report of Kevin Rudd’s handling of the press in trademark ‘cold’ fashion at the opening of the Chris O’Brien Lighthouse Hospital in CamperDown on Feb21 2015. PM Tony Abbott was also in attendence.
visualization of Twitter geolocated tweets with the search filter of ‘home’ in real time (this is after about 2hours on the morning of Friday Feb20 2015 ) in the act of connectedness.
I’ve been interested in data visualizations of twitter activity on the internet for a couple of reasons – One is that it offers a chance for a distanced view of whats-going-on out there and right now (the image of a ‘stream-listener’), the other is that the way in which these tweets occur, or are related to each other are similar to the way wind occurs. Wind seems to be random, but that randomness is caused by an infinite amount of slight variations in temperature, pressure/relief, celestial disruptions, radiation, ecological activity right down to repiration/transpiration and even ‘the beating of butterfly wings’ . In the same way, the twitterverse seems to have it’s own logic or ecosystem based on cultural fads and memes, of cross linkages i.e. sharing or reposting- a recycling of the nutrients that satiate the digital appetite. And like the natural world, some are producers, and some are consumers- most, are a bit of both. plagiarism is rife and unchecked, as is the mimicry present in natural circles.
Twitter works great because it is real time, it is also very heavily populated, and much of its structure seems organic in the way content moves around, bobs up to prominence, and falls down and fades away. Is there a periodicity to this? and if we find that, would that be the ‘breath’ of the ecosystem? the ebb and flow of life?
From an ecologist’s standpoint, all members of the ecosystem are equal, biotic,abiotic factors alike – but in this digital universe, not all content is the same. some carry much more cultural baggage than others. sieving out these currently depends on content/tag/hashtag searches which places more importance on the cultural significance of the term (its definition, its role in society/space/time) than on the actual implementation of its idea. I am more interested in the way twitter functions as a reflection of these events and the process of articulation and mediation, and even perhaps homogenization of these often polemical ideas. Is this a time where stronger, more articulated visions are able to prey on the weak, where consensus or compliance masquerades as popularity. What does the term ‘follow’ really mean? Warren Neidich warns about cognitive capitalism as the battlegrounds of the information age and what we expose ourselves to on the internet inadvertently defines who we are both online and offline.
The first aspect is to realize some of these through the metaphor of a wind pervading the atmosphere of the digital environment, and then to find an interface that promotes affect, intimacy, and a memorable experience that could possibly by fed-back into the system.