AZ Residency Follow up — Filipe Pais

I arrived to Residên­cia AZ with a very sim­ple project in mind called Bloop. This project explores the idea of “enfo” — unnecessary/useless infor­ma­tion and infor­ma­tion over­load on the web, look­ing par­tic­u­larly to social net­works.

Fishes don’t speak, but they com­mu­ni­cate between them­selves. For humans, this is an invis­i­ble process which is at the moment com­pletely insignif­i­cant for us. Who cares about what is a fish say­ing to the other or even if he’s com­plain­ing or phi­los­o­phiz­ing alone? The project doesn’t intend to put fishes talk­ing but instead to use their actions to dump ran­dom mes­sages to twit­ter. This work plays with the metaphor of the glass house and observes this very own moment of social net­works incrus­ta­tion.

In order to develop this work, an impro­vised struc­ture was built using some objects avail­able in he kitchen and all over the res­i­dence space to track 2 fishes inside the aquar­ium. The com­puter vision setup was made using 2 cam­eras and val­ues of x and y of each blob (fish) were avail­able to cal­cu­late the dis­tance between them, When a min­i­mum dis­tance value was reached a ran­dom mes­sage was sent to twit­ter pro­files, Bloop_a and Bloop_b, updat­ing its sta­tus. A dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive of the work using two fishes was also develop but this time with the intent to cre­ate a fake per­sonal pro­file. Here an algo­rithm searchs all over twit­ter for mes­sages with cer­tain key words and post them into fake pro­files con­trolled by fishes inter­ac­tions. Thus, each pro­file presents a line of inter­est and shows up as if some per­son could be behind it.

In the first two days I was ded­i­cated to com­puter vision issues and also to the com­mu­ni­ca­tion between pro­cess­ing and twit­ter. For the sec­ond perspective/project I was cod­ing a small rou­tine in order to com­mu­ni­cate with twit­ter api, search for tags and update each pro­file sta­tus. Dur­ing the third day (Wednes­day) the projects tech­ni­cal issues were solved and work­ing as expected but the fishes seemed not to like their new home and prob­lems came with that. In order to cre­ate a good envi­ron­ment for them, I ran over local shops search­ing for a new aquar­ium and water treat­ment prod­ucts. This task took a lot of time, not because we were in Alen­tejo but because new ideas arrived within group inter­ac­tion and new mate­r­ial needs came to com­pli­cate more the sit­u­a­tion.

By the end of the week, a team formed by me, Ricardo Lobo and Mauri­cio worked hardly on the Piano Cock­tail, an orig­i­nal idea by Boris Vian . The results obtained were enough to cel­e­brate dur­ing the last eve and make every­one, or almost, drink­ing trough the divine mech­a­nism.

Some moments were odd and I found myself imag­in­ing and mak­ing bizarre things as The Wig’on’wheels:

New ideas came up and they’ll be worked out in the next res­i­dence.

This was the last image I have from Mon­te­mor-o-Novo, by the way, a won­der­ful place to work and to get inspi­ra­tion.