Obelisk Drips Paint To Represent A City’s Mood On Social Media

September 18, 2014 | Sophie Weiner

Two students from the Oslo School of Architecture and Design set out to create a visual representation of social media streams that would change the ephemeral medium into something more solidSyver Lauritzsen and Eirik Haugen Murvold’s “Monolitt,” is an obelisk that dispenses colored paint in accordance with mood data from social media. 

The installation relies on software that applies keyword-spotting sentiment analysis to tweets in the Oslo area. “Usually you’ll see these as graphs, with the x-axis going from negative to positive, and the y-axis going from calm to excited,” Lauritzsen says. “By overlaying appropriate colors over this graph, tweets could determine what color the sculpture would release.”

Their project follows the trend of “ambient data” decives: objects that transmute algorithms into a gradient that displays information like the feelings of a city, or the temperature outside. “It’s absolutely hypnotic watching the colors swirl and mix together before your eyes,” Lauritzsen told Wired. (Gif: Prosthetic Knowledge)