AZ Residency Follow up – Filipe Pais

I arrived to ResidĂȘncia 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.