CADRE Residency: Social Networking
by Ethan Miller

The Social Networking project is an examination of the complex networks of economic, cultural, technological and military systems operating throughout the social fabric of the present day. The vocabulary used by diverse organizations provide a reference point for how each of these organizations situate themselves within this context. The project will be realized by 'scraping' text from the websites of a broad range of organizations (everything from to Vocabulary usage will be analyzed, and associated with latitude and longitude data for a spatial reference to each organization. The four systems mentioned (economic, cultural, technological and military) form axes along which vocabulary usage data can be visualized.

The physical installation, intended for a public space, will consist of a world map that functions as both a sculptural installation on it's own, and a substrate for a digital projection. Using the collected/analyzed text and the lat/lon data, the projection will consist of a dynamic, color-coded, subtly animated visualization. The data will be constantly updated, allowing the project to remain installed for a long period of time and still engage with vocabulary usage as it happens. The project is intended to remain installed beyond the ISEA2006 Symposium, for a period of three to five years.

The residency was designed from the beginning as a collaboration between artist Antoni Muntadas and a group of CADRE students. Muntadas is an internationally recognized media artist. A few of his recent projects include The File Room , and the On Translation series - the most recent incarnation of which, On Translation : I Giardini , represented Spain at the Venice Biennale.

The students involved in the project are CADRE students Vera Fainstein, Chris Head, Aaron Siegel, and Ethan Miller (coordinator for the project). The opportunity to work with Muntadas has been of tremendous value to the students. Beyond learning form his experience and vision, the project has been a collaboration in the true sense of the word. From the beginning Muntadas was interested in creating a dialog with everyone involved. It has created an environment of participation and critical engagement.