Chatham Whitespace is an audio visual installation: speculations over a city from a distance – visualisation of a social network.
In winter 07/ 08 our webminig software was observing the online publishing of the local news of a newspaper in Chatham, Ontario over a period of 3 month, filling a database with stories which are reflecting topics beeing discussed in the city at that time. After that research period we got nearly 400 articles in the database.
In the installation a software lets the news link to each other over common keywords. Following these links the system generates a unique walk combining fragments of stories and illustrates them with images found on the internet.
Starting at a random keyword the software looks for all sentences which contains it, choose one of them and steps through it word by word. A filter is filtering out minor words. The resulting textstream is used to trigger a Google image search engine. One of the words is choosen randomly to become the next keyword.
On the x- and y-axes the 3d graphic shows the date the current sentence was published . The z-axes (dimension of the sphere) signify the amount of stories containing the current keyword.
programmed in max/msp jitter
Chatham Whitespace was presented as part of a group exhibition at the Thames Art Gallery in Chatham, Canada,
April 4 – May 4, 2008
Thursday, April 3, 2008: artists’ talk from 5-6:30pm @Retro Suites; 2 King St. West • opening 7pm @Thames Art Gallery