FLOW

 

Statement

The World Wide Web is not only a media tool, but also a space for social, culture, and political activity. The internet service provides us the convenient tool to search the information through the net. We immerse ourselves in the large communication nets struggling to grab all the information to prevent from being behind the world stream. Artists facing the technology revolution are not only treating information as a media but an element for creativity.

The practice aims to represent a chaos state of information which we conceive in the world news. We receive information in a remote side of different locations. According to our own geographic location and culture background, we conceive the meanings of information. The meaning of information is uncertain and changeable in different viewpoints

We pick the information from news portal site with the availability of RSS feeds. The selected news portal sites are from different countries such as CNN (USA), UDNnews(Taiwan) and BBC(Britain). We grab the hot news photos with message in different categories, such as politics, entertainment, digital life, and economy etc. The news shows a congested information status nowadays. The news photos flow out and blur in the screen. The content read out to the audience in mix. The participants are shot and represent in the screen superimposing with news images. (see Figure 1) The images of information from different geographical distributions and participants in the exhibition site show a unity in the virtual world.

The flashlight, as a metaphor of conductor, is an interactive tool. The flashlight lights the way to information. Participants can pick to view the photos and hear the narration clearly by waving the flashlight. (see Figure 2) Participants wave the light wobbling, the images and audio response to interaction right away cascaded. The images and audio will appear layer by layer and compound with each other. Participants have the control power over those images and sound, but are not able to control the final appearance and catch the subject matter. As a result, the perceptions of participant get into a state of chaos.

With java as a programming language, we integrate web AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) technology, Text-To-Speech (TTS), images analysis and presentation, and multichannel sound play. The system fetches and downloads the hot news images and texts into certain news portal site at every other hour automatically. The web links of the images and texts are gotten by parsing different RSS (Really Simple Syndication) files. The texts are converted into voice sound files with wave format. When no one is presented, the images are analyzed into a blur and darted off with the velocity of flying. A sound made by a special sound revert effect is playing with loops in the background.

When participants standing in front of the screen, they will be shot by a web camera and become the background of the drifting vision. Participants control the flashlight dot into an input coordination signal. The signal that maps to the position is the cursor controlling images and sound to appear clearly. The coordination of the light dot is detected by analyzing the highest brightness area of the image captured from the web camera. The light dot triggers to enlarge and view the image clearly. The images pop up from time to time in the screen and the voice plays in amalgamation. The sound will be play in different channels according to the images in the screen, left image to left channel, right image into right channel. The system can deal with multiuser at the same time.

In Flow, we want to indicate a situation at which we face. People confront with the huge amount of information. We conceive differently toward same information in a matter of opinion. We assume that we understand without question. But, how can we really firmly believe our cognition being correct. Do you really know the meanings behind the appearance or just being caught in a condition of maze? We drift into the information flow to receive reality, however, what is reality.