On Translation: Social Networks


The Social Networking Residency for the ZeroOne San Jose and ISEA2006 Symposium is co-sponsored by the CADRE Laboratory for New Media at SJSU, ZeroOne San Jose, and Montalvo Arts Center . Internationally renowned artist Antoni Muntadas was invited to collaborate with a group of students from CADRE. The project started in June of 2005, when Muntadas came to San Jose to meet the students, and begin a dialog.

The Social Networking project is an examination of the complex networks of economic, cultural, technological and military systems operating throughout the social fabric of the present day. The vocabulary used by diverse organizations provide a reference point for how each of these organizations situate themselves within this context. The project will be realized by 'scraping' text from the websites of a broad range of organizations (everything from Apple.com to Rhizome.org). Vocabulary usage will be analyzed, and associated with latitude and longitude data for a spatial reference to each organization. The four systems mentioned (economic, cultural, technological and military) form axes along which vocabulary usage data can be visualized.

The physical installation, intended for a public space, will consist of a world map that functions as both a sculptural installation on it's own, and a substrate for a digital projection. Using the collected/analyzed text and the lat/lon data, the projection will consist of a dynamic, color-coded, subtly animated visualization. The data will be constantly updated, allowing the project to remain installed for a long period of time and still engage with vocabulary usage as it happens. The project is intended to remain installed beyond the ISEA2006 Symposium, for a period of three to five years in the McCenry Convention Center.