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AMYGDALA — An installation that converts social media sentiment into audiovisual art

It’s becoming harder and harder to think of tech as a distinct silo. Tech is embedding itself into so many traditional industries that, one day, every company will probably be a software/technology company in some regards. 

It’s for this reason that I often think and write about tech and its impacts on the built environment.

An interesting example of this phenomenon is a recent art installation by fuse* called AMYGDALA. What it does is translate collective social media sentiment (specifically from Twitter) into an audiovisual art installation housed within an urban space.

Here’s how they describe the project:

“The news and thoughts of users spread across social networks in real time. And so an event with worldwide implications immediately involves millions of people sharing their own opinions and emotions: happiness, anger, sadness, disgust, amazement or fear. Thus, imagining Internet as a living organism, we might think that its emotional state may be given by the overall emotions shared by users at any given time. AMYGDALA listens to shared thoughts, interprets states of mind and translates the data gathered into an audiovisual installation capable of representing the collective emotional state of the net and its changes on the basis of events that take place around the world.”

And here’s a video of it in action (click here if you can’t see it below):

What I like about the project is how it takes something digital and ephemeral and then both aggregates and translates it into something physical within the urban environment. It’s a perfect visual representation of how technology and networks are – for better or for worse – seeping into our daily lives.

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