Screenlight TUE 1 AUG 2017 - SAT 1 SEPT 2018


Screenlight - Micro-Commissions 2018

Paul Allen

Make America Great Again

The 45th President of the United States of America, Donald Trump, is using Twitter like no other politician. Engaging in open conversation and using the platform to critique his opposition, President Trump generates huge responses from the general public with the platform documenting over 100,000 comments on some Tweets.

This information exists as data and only as long as Trump's Twitter account is live. As Tweets, as conversation through comments and as original digital exchanges, this data provides new opportunities for visual exploration. Mining this data aims to visualise and create physical forms in a medium not directly linked to the data itself. Here the first 1000 comments to Trump's 'Make America Great Again' Tweet are mapped and animated using TAGS software. Each Twitter user engaged in the conversation is represented as a circular node. As users comment they are visualised and as they comment on other comments links are formed. The links, connections, retweets and conversations animate as Twitter users interact with the original Tweet and the comments posted by other Twitter users. The closer the nodes appear to the centre the more they are interacting with others users via the original Tweet. In 12hrs 27,000 Twitter users commented on Trumps Tweet.

Artist Statement

We are told the world is saturated by data. Our smart phones, internet use, movement and digital communications are documented at a level not previously experienced. This data exists as numbers, in vast spreadsheets and in mundane charts. An opportunity exists to apply design thinking to unresolved problems, to create new forms from data, visualising new information only recently available.

My research explores digital communities, often using data sculptures and 2D and 3D data visualisation.

Paul Allen