Galeria FOCO Lisbon 2019, 15-30 March
News Feed is a data visualization and sound art installation that reads major worldwide online newspapers, exposing the sentiment of news stories published. As new articles are published from major journals, VADER algorithm analyses and classifies them according to whether they are positive or negative in sentiment. These results are then interpreted and transformed into sound and visual meanings, making the audiovisual installation to perform accordingly with the data.
“NEWS FEED” is a triptych installation, composed by a sound sculpture (third photo above) that sonifies the articles being read, a display screen and projection (second photo above) that displays the current news stories being read and analysed and a visual projection (first photo above) that maps the data into visual meanings.
The exhibition was planed so the audience first sees and hears the sound installation, then the visualisation and by last the text/news stories being displayed or waiting for articles to be analysed. This way making the audience to enter the work first through a sensorial experience and then, overcome it when the news stories are put in context, thus establishing a dialogue between the 3 pieces.
During the period of 15th to 30th March at FOCO art gallery in Lisbon, “NEWS FEED” read everyday the news stories from CNN, JapanToday, Al Jazeera, BBC, New York Times, The Guardian, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Sun, The Telegraph, The Independent, News 24, Channel NewAsia, Daily Mail. Approximately 1200 articles were read and analysed every day (second photo above). The photo shows a current article being read and is possible to see in the screen the total news stories read during that day and the todal news stories read during the last days (7319) and their positive (2992) and negative sum (4324). The first photo shows the visualization that represents one day of news stories, where each line represents one hour, starting from the left to the wright 00:00am to 00:00pm. The negative news are mapped to the left and positive news to the right of each line. In the photo we can observe that the current time the photo was taken was almost 6pm. A few lines until midnight are still to come to be filled with the visualisation.
Is the world getting worst? Or is our perception of the world delivered by news media that influences us in a constant negative perception about the world we live in? And thus we become more pessimist and act in a more negative way in our daily lives and trough this attitude the world might become more negative in fact? We can’t respond to this questions. The installation works as a performative mechanism bringing the awareness to this questions but it also showed that around 75% of top 100 words used in the news stories are negative. This means that even positive news stories are written with a lot on dramatic words. We might question if it influences our subcounscicouness.
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Artistic and Technical Creation: Joan Sandoval