Artist Jennifer Wen Ma and lighting designer Zheng Jianwei have transformed Beijing’s Water Cube into a display of the sentiments of the Chinese social-media service Sina Weibo’s millions of users through an interactive lighting display that runs from dusk to 10 p.m. daily.
Nature and Man in Rhapsody of Light at the Water Cube uses a custom software application that sifts through millions of emoticons and smileys posted to the site and translates them into a glowing light show.
Ma explains, ‘I have conceived this as a piece that can breathe, as an organic being that changes as nature and society around it changes. I want people to feel like they have some authorship because their emotions are being registered.’
Why I’m Curious:
I think it’s interesting how the designer took something as arbitrary as an emoticon and turned it into a beautiful art installation. I think the idea of visually tracking a country’s sentiment in real time is also very cool. Imagine tracking brand sentiment in this fashion.