Sunday, 5 June 2011

Tate projection installation: 3,500 messages later!

The projection installation I created for the Tate Liverpool has been live for a while now, and yesterday I was sent a dump of all the data that's been entered into it so far.

It makes for really interesting reading: I learned that for the most part my swear filter worked well, apart from a few (admittedly creative) exceptions. I also learned that people really tend to write a lot of crap into public installations.... I was obviously expecting a few posts to be hidden, but the percentage that the staff had to manually disable was far far higher than I'd ever have estimated. It was great to see however that some people seemed to take the time to write genuinely nice comments, not just about the exhibition but about the Tate and the staff, and even one or two about the projection itself, which was nice. :)

There were a few common themes throughout: unsurprisingly a lot of schoolkids tended to write things like "Dave Smith was here", and there were a lot of attempts at getting profanity or offensive content through. Luckily the staff were really on top of things and shut that stuff down pretty fast. Something I did find interesting however was the amount of "vote labour" posts: either there was one committed chap continually posting, or a few people had the same idea. Strange. Some of the comments were just completely unrelated in every way, I think it must be the anonymity coupled with the fact that the comments are going to be six feet wide that incites people into writing absolute crap.

Anyway, the full list can be viewed here. Below is a selection of the best ones I've found (for various reasons!)
  • "Could somebody please give me directions to the art?"
  • "I love Nancy Allen...will you marry me?"
  • "SHE SAID YES!!! WAAHEEEEEEEEY"
  • "It looks very hard growing up,and i dont want to grow up."
  • "I felt the work conveyed the struggle between youth and adulthood beautifully. It reflected how i feel about the sudden jump we go through as people into world of responsibilities."
  • "i like the sculpture on the floor. it makes me think of great things. Leo, aged 4."
  • "FRIDAY FRIDAY GOTTA GET DOWN ON FRIDAY"
  • "HAPPENED TO WALK PAST WITH A BAG OF SWEETS AND THOUGHT 'ART' I WILL GO AND HAVE A LOOK AT THAT BECAUSE IT IS RAINING"
  • "rowan thinks this is beautiful. Age 5."
  • "I enjoyed the way the pieces could be understood and interpreted differently by the different age groups, it made the exhibition almost personal. Amy-age 26"
  • "All in all good fun and interesting, thanks for a great day, BOOBIES"
  • "hi i am writing on a wall!"
  • "art confuses and confounds me! keep it simple!!!"
  • "Interesting artwork included here, I'm not sure if I like it or not. The artwork itself is slightly too wacky, however, the reasons for the art make sense. 7/10"
  • "It leaves more questions unanswered than answers questions"
  • "pretentious"
  • "In my country, we have a saying: put computers in the hands of fools and you will experience folly"
  • "What a great way of capturing people's views of the exhibitions in a way that in itself, is art."

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