News Feed - Rudolfo Quintas

Art Installation, Galeria FOCO, Lisboa 2019

Is the world getting worst? Or is our perception of the world delivered by news media that influences us in a constant negative perception about the world we live in? And thus we become more pessimist and act in a more negative way in our daily lives and trough this attitude the world might become more negative in fact? We can’t respond to this questions. The installation works as a performative mechanism bringing the awareness to this questions but it also showed that around 75% of top 100 words used in the news stories are negative. This means that even positive news stories are written with a lot on dramatic words. We might question if it influences our subcounscicouness.

News Feed(2019) is a data visualization and sound art installation that reads major worldwide online newspapers, exposing the sentiment of news stories published. As new articles are published from major journals, VADER algorithm analyses and classifies them according to whether they are positive or negative in sentiment. These results are then interpreted and transformed into sound and visual meanings, making the audiovisual installation to perform accordingly with the data.

Using bespoke software developed by Quintas and Joan Sandoval since 2019, News Feed 2022 reads major news stories from around the world in real-time, and then ‘paints’ an impression on a screen. It’s a continuation of Quintas’ work, which uses interactive, generative and AI technologies to lay bare complexities and develop new perspectives, working with simple natural elements. In this case, an AI analyses the sentiment of each piece of news that is fed into the model and then uses this to generate a sentimental representation of the article’s tone, according to how positive or negative it is. It’s a way of visualizing the invisible, manipulative power of news media in the digital age.

- Rudolfo Quintas

This project follows the cullmination of comprehensive research on the topic of news media, the conclusion of which comprises various installations combining realtime data collection techniques using Python, along with AI algorithms used to compute sentiment and data visualisation. Technologies used include OpenFrameworks(2019) and TouchDesigner(2022).

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Concept & Direction: Rudolfo Quintas
Creative Coding: Joan Sandoval
Sound Design: Oma Nata
Exhibition Mockups: Catarina Reis
Production: Challenge Silence / Studio Rudolfo Quintas
Documentation: Aya Koretzky
Technical Rider: Hipnose
Partners: CIAC, Foco Gallery
Support: Portuguese Minsitry of Culture/DGartes