4 Emotions 8 Winds
Maurice Benayoun – MoBen
Sound composition by Jean-Baptiste Barrière
4 emotions of the world move and spread around the planet according to 8 real winds data, creating chance arabesques on the world map, forming meandered natural movements similar to the brushstrokes of Chinese calligraphy and ink drawing. Created through the automatic analysis of Internet data representing the emotions of 3200 of the world’s largest cities, the work understands the Internet as a de facto ‘World Nervous System’, or the harbinger of the planet’s emotional sensitivities.
The last avatar of the Mechanics of Emotions series of artworks, Emotion Winds expands the running theme of this far-reaching oeuvre, namely the relationship between ‘big data’ and what MoBen describes as ‘the human factor’ – that makes something tangibly human. The works in the series utilize techniques from economics to measure human sensitivities or feelings, looking at ways in which conventional forms of the quantification of Big Data can give credence to systems detached from, or playing with, the very tenor of human emotions. In other works in the Mechanics of Emotions series, stock market data has been directly compared to information related to real human affects. In Emotion Winds, these same human emotions are overlaid and combined with graphic representations of natural phenomena such as global wind cycles, and a poetic visualization finally emerges of Internet emotion streams from different cities across the world.