Garden of Error and Decay (2010, Wuhan)


The devastating Haiti earthquake, the worst oil disaster in the history of the United States with the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, the eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano and the deadly stampede during the Love Parade in Duisburg are signs of human error and the threatening decay of civilizations. Nature has a tremendous comeback in world news this year and reminds the world public tangled in everyday life to look up from their information flows. The digital revolution first appears in Tunisia in December in its immense collective potential and is the beginning of what we will come to know as the Arab Spring. Garden of Error and Decay completes the free-floating figurative stream of Falling Times' infinite social media comments with a background and a user interface and is then only projected and played within the cultural sites of the world, also due to the resulting technical complexity. The joystick turns the former consumers into users who intervene in the action by shooting the pictograms in real time. What remains hidden from the users, however, is that another subtle data or information stream hidden from them affects the result of the individual UI-interference: the price trend of the New York Stock Exchange is recorded and causes the pictogram to be deleted when the price falls and to double when the course rises.

Computer, projector, software: the external browser service TwapperKeeper (now HootSuite) was programmed in such a way that Twitter messages containing certain keywords are stored in a table that has an unique IP address assigned to it. Kamila B. Richter previously used these keywords as a template for pictograms in the form of action script files (* .as). With the help of JavaScript Object Notation (JSON), a lean data exchange format, Twitter messages are now broken down by keyword within the custom made Falling Times app and translated into the corresponding pictograms - when several keywords per message are discovered, pictogram hybrids are generated algorithmically. The resulting vector graphic pictograms are then animated and projected using the object-oriented scripting language ActionScript. Adobe will stop supporting and distributing Flash in 2020. With the help of an app in the programming language Java and JavaScript Object Notation (JSON), the input of an industrial joystick is rooted to the app. The share price is fed into the app by a corresponding provider in real time and synthesized with the help of JSON to produce a data-driven actions script pictogram output.

Paul Kenig