NYPL Labs was paired up with illustrator Ellen Weinstein for an intense 2-day collab as part of 'bit by bit' (bitbybit.brown.columbia.edu), an arts-tech challenge and colloquium organized by the Brown Institute for Media Innovation at the Columbia Journalism School. This video captures a rough demo of the result: a surreal online chat application that weaves custom avatars out of cut-ups from Weinstein's artwork mixed with additional animal imagery from The New York Public Library's collections. The strange frankenbeasts can be playfully tugged and tossed like puppets as the users chat, while the weather tracks the mood and tone of the conversation.
Tools used: Photoshop (clipping and reformatting artwork), gouache (new images), flatbed scanner (digitizing new images), p2.js (physics engine), pixie.js (image texturing), converse.js + Jabber server (chat implementation), Python Natural Language Toolkit (sentiment analysis), Ruby on Rails (app framework).
Project team: Ellen Weinstein & NYPL Labs (Paul Beaudoin, Clarisa Diaz, Brian Foo, Mauricio Giraldo, Matthew Miller, David Riordan, Ben Vershbow).