With the number of blogs, message boards, discussion groups, and personal websites out there these days, there’s bound to be a whole lot of human emotion floating around on the internet. Jonathan Harris has taken all of this emotion and created computer art out of it. “We Feel Fine” is a program he created that tracks all of the sentences on the web at any given time that contain the words “I feel…” The program then takes the sentence and gathers information about the person who wrote it— their geographical location, the time it was written, their age and gender, as well as any photos that are associated with that sentence and the weather in that location at that time. Then it turns the emotion into a ball of colour which the user can manipulate in various, extremely artistic, unusual, and interesting ways (check it out).
It would feel like an invasion of privacy except that all of the information we put into our blogs is freely available to anyone, and I personally wouldn’t have it any other way. There’s a great freedom in being able to express a feeling for all the world to see, while remaining more or less anonymous.
Harris’ latest project, already available online, is called Universe. I’ll let him explain it himself, but I will say that if you want a universe of information, a place where all the news on any subject and subjects surrounding it are loosely grouped to be browsed in a free-form and artistic manner, where you can find different points of view in one place, and wander down different pathways of information for hours at your leisure, then this is the website for you.