*glisten) HIVE, audio visual participatory installation, 2010
Julie Andreyev and Simon Overstall

*glisten) HIVE is a project mapping real-time on-line conversations about animal consciousness into an audio-video interactive installation using computer algorithms that mimic social-insect swarming patterns. Animated text and sound generation depict Twitter or Sina Weibo contributions about animals. The project looks at individuals who are posting from the 1st person point of view of their animal companions. The project offers textual representations of human empathy and compassion reflecting on the subjective experience of animals. The project is intended to raise awareness about animals’ complex states of being and human nonhuman relations. The soundscape during *glisten) HIVE uses “particle synthesis” methods, generated live from recorded sound files, to create an abstract ever-changing sonic landscape. The swarm of text and sound, in a sense, takes on a life of its own and depicts group consciousness.

Live Twitter or Sina Weibo contributions are coded and projected into moving text patterns reminiscent of swarming patterns of insects, visualizing shared experience and group intelligence. Within the installation, visitors are also encouraged to interact by posting entries to the visualization via an on-site computer and interface or from their own mobile devices. Here, the emergent pattern of on-line and on-site communities are represented as a collective effect and a spatial dimension of communication based on shared themes of discussion.

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