From Museum's data to living artworks

Realtime generated artworks representing Twitter’s activity of each museum participating in #MuseumWeek2015

2207 museums from 64 countries took part in the week-long event. Each artwork was customized based on data from the museum's Twitter profile, tweets and general activity in the time leading up to Museum Week. The artwork is still available online here and was exhibited live at Cité de l'Architecture et du Patrimoine in Paris during the week of the event.

The artwork was created on the occasion of the Twitter Museum Week, in collaboration with Marcin Ignac, so we chose to put the museum in the center of the artwork. The idea was to subvert the museum’s everyday role of being a place to exhibit artworks, and thus turning the museum into an artwork itself.

The artwork was constructed from two elements: The first one is a solid, architectural core that represents the museum as a permanent institution. The DNA-like spiral shape twists increasingly in relation to the number of years the museum has been on Twitter. Profile IDs determined how the small modular elements appeared, and the total number of followers the museum had influenced the complexity of the whole structure. Each tweet made by the museum itself was shown as a spherical form inside the structure. To give each artwork an even more individualized identity, we used the museum’s Twitter profile theme color as well as colors from the avatar logo for the palette. Every time somebody tweeted #museumweek, a flash of energy spread across the museum structure.

This tweet data also drove the second element of the artwork, which we call the flow. With each tweet, we added one ‘stroke’ that flowed around the museum. We wanted to make the audience feel how much activity surrounding Museum Week there was on Twitter at that moment. These strokes were like people, just passing through the space, ephemeral like the tweets themselves.

All the tweets have been backed up and are available for realtime replay here.