The macro optic interface, Flickr and you - June 4, 2012

Filed under: Programming,Uncategorized

Pictorial and narrative representations are to me the indexes of emotional life and reflection. They give a fundament for artistic production. As nature historically has been the source for expression and emotion in art, it provided rhythm and cognition in relation to its weather and seasons – even the differences of night and day. Our modern world is self created and unattached to the clockwork of nature and the restraints of physical distance. We surf on the wave of the collective consciousness so eagerly filled everyday with photo memories and narratives. We are being pulled into scandals, wars and activism through our social networks. They constantly shake you out of every intimate limbo. It suggests prison of macro optics – meaning time and distance around the world dissolves as we gaze into the windows of our devices accessing whatever and whenever.

As when modernists such as Joseph Stella started painting giant colourful paintings which vibrancy inspired by the neon signs of high speed cities, can one today ask how art can defend its existence against our daily stimuli of information. The singular work of art the moment it is seen becomes unrewarded and embedded into a stream of “art tendencies”. I have problems relating to one art object in the white cube without its total context. With “Streaming canvas”, I attempt to open up the gates of just a fraction of the world in real time into the work.

Flickring canvas is originally an installation where Flickr uploads are being projected on a canvas in real time. Depending on connectivity, the application can show up to one image per 70 milliseconds. The application uses the Flickr API, which updates as uploads to Flickr are being performed by users. From Feb. and Mar. 2012, the Flickr website has reached 1.8 million uploads a day, that is up to 28 photos per second in peak times (> 100.000 per hour).

My work tries to capture the sense of growth and alienation to what is being added to the networks of information. The speed of the images flickering by is motivated to capture the claustrophobic image of the thought stream. By this I mean the time it takes to mentally process the image being shown, is stressed by the quick transition of the next image – leaving you in a desperate state of trying to comprehend. Have you ever kept image in for more than a second before your mind turn it into something else? From time to time one witness small fractions of continuity, as images from the same series are being uploaded.

Click to see the live version of Flickring Canvas.

Note that if your internet connection is slow, a set of 20 images will loop until the next set is loaded.

Documentation of the original installation: