Mood Map - Owen Coolidge & Timmothy Thomasson

Timothy Thomasson uses a multidisciplinary approach to art making, working with video, computation, and animation, and is interested in emerging forms of media that facilitate immersive experiences. He aims to incorporate different visual, auditory, and interactive elements in his work, and focus on their seamless interplay. Though thematically diverse, his projects often examine the progress of technology and its influence on society and culture. He is also interested in fluctuating notions of identity and their integration within varying personal and social spaces. Through his work, Thomasson hopes to create memorable and reflexive experiences that are unique and potentially unexpected.

Through his work, Owen Coolidge aims to foreground the significance of technology in impacting the environment and culture. New technology seeps into our everyday lives and influences our behavior in fundamental ways; we don’t get a chance to fully understand these cultural shifts because their sources (technology) are woven into the fabric of society so quickly and without restraint. He aims to reveal the technical inner workings of our ever changing, contemporary environment in a way that compels self reflection. Part of his process is learning mathematical abstractions that describe ourselves and the environment. Coolidge finds that they have the capacity to clearly display an unfathomably large and complex concept in a very small amount of space.

Mood Map is an interactive visualization displaying concentrations of varying emotional sentiment across the city of Montréal. The familiar map becomes populated with psychogeographical contours that encourage new understandings of our urban environment. The Mood Map is created by crawling the most recent Tweets posted within the limits of Montréal . The Tweets are run through a sentiment analysis algorithm whose results are represented as colours on the map. Individual Tweets are displayed out of their original contexts, and the often humorous and profane texts may stand as examples of people’s exaggerated personas when crafting online identities. At a glance, viewers are able to discern the emotional state of Montréal and gain a deeper understanding of the characteristics of different locations and sub-locations within the city.