The #BlueBird Effect
The #BlueBird Effect is an installation, surrounding the theme of Publicity. Focussing on how, what the population chooses as important political topics to discuss on social media, are media generated. This piece intends to address this theme by pulling out information from twitter about two, opposite, Canadian political topics: ROB FORD AND ENBRIDGE’S NORTHERN GATEWAY PIPELINE.
In this day in age it is extremely difficult to not hear about an event that impacts societ, due to the technologies that have consumed day to day life; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, News Apps on cellphones, and paparazzi. Although, there are all these facades for the public to educate themselves on current events, the media at times, seems to focus on less important topics, and in the end blinds the people from more pressing issues. While the media was paying attention to Toronto’s mayor, Rob Ford, a step in the wrong direction was taken by the Alberta and British Columbia Premiers, to make Enbridge’s Northern Pipeline a secured possibility. This deal has an extremely high chance of negatively affecting our climate as well as the habitats in British Columbia’s beautiful coastline. For years Canadian residents have voiced their negative opinions toward this deal, but as soon as a crack smoking Mayor, who actions aren’t as permanent and serious as the possible outcomes this pipeline will bring, all of the world’s focus has been on him. Last summer alone, there were 13 oil spills in 30 days, which were hardly covered by the media, meanwhile Rob Ford had been on front page news numerous times.
This is a Generative art piece; which is art that in whole or in part has been created with the use of an autonomous system (non-human and can independently determine features of an artwork that would otherwise require decisions made directly by the artist). By using processing, The #BlueBird Effect will call information from Twitter (a social networking site where people can post their thoughts and ideas), that have #hashtags including : #NoEnbridge, #Enbridge, #greatbearrainforest, Rob Ford, #RobFord, #fordnation, and @RobFord. As soon as one of the hashtags are detected, a “ball” (Black for the Northern Gateway Pipline, and Blue for Rob Ford) will fall down onto the screen and add itself to the funnel of tweets. We will be able to visualized who, during the time that the program is running, is being talked about more and ultimately which topic is more important to the public.
My intentions as an artist, are to visualize how the media has the power to determine the public spheres focus. It is astonishing that something so detrimental to the well being of Canada and it’s people can be so overlooked, ie. the Northern Gateway Pipeline. By creating a visualization of the number of people who talk about each topic on Twitter, we are able to see the effects the media and social media has on what the public deems as important issues. As well as possibly looking to ourselves to correct the backwardness.