Just finished installing a sculpture commission from HLN in the CNN building in Atlanta, GA called “#nicehashtag”. It’s an 8’ x 8’ x 5’ sculpture that does sentiment analysis of tweets in real-time and changes color based on that analysis via a program that can control Philips Hue smart bulbs. The script can determine whether a tweet is Positive (green), Neutral (blue), or Negative (red). The concept was to make social media physical, and provide a framework for experiences with social media that encourages the audience to be kind to one another on the internet. The title, #nicehashtag, relates to the unstable nature of non-verbal communication; “nice hashtag” could mean that someone is being kind, or it could be sarcastic, or even congratulatory. The ambiguity and lack of context, much like the 140-character limit of tweets, allows the viewer to project their own interpretations and expectations upon the work.
Here are some pics I took on install day while the programmers Miles and Kelsey were debugging and finalizing the script, so the colors are all sorts of crazy. Kelsey is like, really excited.
Here’s a promo video that HLN released, with all 4 commissioned projects, including sculptures by Mike Stasny and Mass Collective:
More to come, including a behind the scenes video and some new video of the sculpture responding to Twitter in real-time.