HAIR FEELS

 

I’d rather hear the presidential candidates talk about their hair. So I went ahead and did that.

This sculpture project is a sentiment tracker for 2016 presidential candidates’ tweets that renders values as hair color, using laser-cut acrylic and programmable LEDs. Thanks to Colin Wang (colinwangdesign.com/) for help with the laser-cutting, I couldn’t have done it without him!

  • Colors display the “sentiment” for each tweet: red is a negative tweet, green is a positive, etc.
  • The background color is the aggregate sentiment of all tweets
  • Bright pulses indicate number of tweet frequency and retweet amounts. Basically if the conversation is super active the image flashes a lot.

Couple things I’ve noticed: People have really mixed feelings about Hillary Clinton. Notice that the aggregate color changes from red to green at least once, and there’s a lot of variety in the individual tweet color. The sentiment representation is kind of misleading. For instance, if people are tweeting that a candidate will fix things that are bad or negative, then the sentiment can register as negative EVEN IF the tweet is supportive of the candidate.
bernie_portrait
The LEDs are driven by an arduino board connected to an Intel “Compute Stick”, basically a USB stick-sized wifi Windows 10 pc. The pc runs a Processing sketch that handles the tweet requests, parses the sentiment using a custom designed machine learning API, and assigns the colors and animations.
trump_installation

hillary_34
This work is currently being hung in the lobby of SOS Ventures “Revolution SF” offices in San Francisco, CA.

bernie_closeup

 

trump_34

 

trump_closeup
installation_view



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