Cell Tango: An Evolving Interactive Archive of Cellphone Photography

Symposium:


Session Title:

  • Interactivity and Art

Presentation Title:

  • Cell Tango: An Evolving Interactive Archive of Cellphone Photography

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Abstract:

  • Cell Tango is an interactive multimedia artwork consisting of a series of visualizations based on a dynamically evolving collection of cellphone photographs contributed instantly by the general public. These images, and the accompanying tags which categorize and describe them, are projected large-scale in the gallery, continuously shifting as new contributions are added. The layout and animation for each of the four visualizations— Cell_Bin, Cell_Clusters, Cell_Burst, and Cell_Finale— is defined by the textual associations between the photos, and additionally shows connections with a set of similar photographs that are retrieved from the popular Flickr photograph-sharing database. A series of sonifications, based on various image-processing techniques, are synchronized with the position and movement of the photographs to enhance the narrative logic of the artwork. Cell Tango engages in a dialogue between the public and the private through the creation of an intermediate shared space. The artwork exists at the intersection of the collective, the prescriptive, and the personal, as defined respectively by the sampling of the database, the aesthetic of the artist, and the individual contribution of the viewer. This paper describes the aesthetic and technical components of the art project, with a particular focus on the software architecture and the use of interactivity and multimedia elements. Note that the artwork itself has also been submitted as an artwork by the authors. This submission is intended to compliment the installation of the project. The paper discusses the various and ongoing process involved in creating the artwork.

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