Mimeisthai - The world's first spoken-word trending engine
Premiered at TEDx Sydney 2012
What if you could trend a topic by simple speaking it? Mimeisthai is a one-off installation exploring the spontaneity of ideas, topics and thoughts - all conceived in the absence of tangible technology. In essence, twitter without the smartphone or laptop.
TEDxSydney, a nonprofit ideas conference devoted to carefully prepared talks to foster learning, inspiration and wonder, briefed us to create a short film to serve as a backdrop to their Sydney event. It's role, to surprise and delight an audience of thought leaders during a short intermission between talks.
Rather than play a traditional film, we decided to challenge the medium, and the audience by creating a hidden installation that feeds off the collective behaviour of TED's audience to generate a live, one-off intermission experience.
By its very definition, an intermission is a space to relax, catchup with fellow audience members, tweet and generally disengage from the stage screen. Rather than see this behaviour as an obstacle, it became our opportunity.
Mimeisthai's algorithm visualises topics being talked about in the auditorium right at that moment. The algorithm anonymously isolates and analyses the hundreds of conversations fed from an array of parabolic microphones to form a visual representation of the hottest emerging topics. From mouth to screen, in an instant; no need for a computer or smartphone. The technology is invisible.
Built using the 'Processing' framework, the visualization generates a flocking and swarming metaphor using sound and vision to mimic the ebb and flow of conversation throughout the room, reflecting the mimetic path of an idea spreading.
The audience reacts to the installation as they realise it is their behaviour controlling the output. In this way, their evolution from nescience to cognisance reflects the memetic path of an idea spreading.
Executive Creative Director: Paul Nagy
Installation & Creative Director: James Théophane
Exec. Producer: Denise Mckeon
Producer: Jonathan Gerard
Copywriters: Rees Steel & Joel Hauer
Programmer: Justin James Claydon
Data Visualisation: Small Multiples
Sound Design: Anthony Tiernan
User Experience: Claire Alexander
Toby Royce – Online and Animation
Lucas Vazquez - Editor
Anthony Tierman – Sound Designer
Web Development: John Knutsson & Joshua Brown
Capture: Crystal Rata
IT Infrastructure: Viocorp
Special thanks to all at TEDxSydney and Kyle McDonald at openprocessing for Clouds Are Looming.
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