Saturday, December 27, 2008

We Feel Fine

The other day I came across this lovely website We Feel Fine , “an exploration of human emotion, in six movements” by Jonathan Harris and Sep Kamvar.

We Feel Fine scans blog posts for occurrences of the phrases “I feel” and “I am feeling,” if available they extract age, gender and location of the blogger, and save the sentence in a database. If an image is found in the post, the image is saved along with the sentence. The process is repeated automatically every ten minutes, generally identifying and saving between 15,000 and 20,000 feelings per day. We Feel Fine offers various visualization of the results. If you have some time on your hand go check it out, it is very well done. Expressions about love an hate particularly go on a slidescale at the related project Lovelines.

The same two guys also had an installation in the NY Museum of Modern Art, called I Want You To Want Me, which “explores the search for love and self in the world of online dating”. See the video below for what that is about.

Isn't it amazing how seamlessly they connect data analysis with art?


  1. Hi Bee,

    Indeed an insightful project and unique artistic conception, although when considered I wouldn’t be found much in the universe they’ve constructed, as the key word to have one realized I don’t often use. It’s not that I lack feelings or never express them; it’s just that in doing so I don’t much include the term. So along with all the other images of feeling it provokes, it has served to have me stop to wonder a bit as to why?



  2. Hi Phil,

    Yes, I hardly use it either. For one many blogs just are not very personal. But besides this I guess many people would rather write "I am" than "I feel", which however would be much harder to extract via a simple algorithm. But either way, the keyword search they are doing will still give a good cross-section. It would be interesting to know though if, when a significant amount of bloggers knew of that project, they would change their wording to make it into the database? Best,


  3. Phil,

    Emotively being, part and parcel of consciousness "I am" not sure how you could ignore it.

    Maybe, this is a road leading too, ummm...understanding gravity better?:)

    Without such an "emotive impetus" what use would experience prove to be? You would not remember "anything" or, might we have assigned this to some autonomic system, that is doing the work after acceptance?:)

    So, what is your "background then" to ascertain that any memory, has not some feature of the reality in question, about those "things that gather" and then become objectively defined within one's skull/brain, and all reactionary statement of human nature thusly is quoted in some form of language, expression, facial or some unknown connection empathetic relation to experience?

    Then for the uneducated(of our subconscious) as our emotive realizations fixed, and thusly, for those who are aware, a more grievous sentence for not walking the talk.:(


  4. HI Bee,

    “It would be interesting to know though if, when a significant amount of bloggers knew of that project, they would change their wording to make it into the database?”

    Well one thing for certain these past two comments would be so admitted. You mention “I am” instead of “I feel”, while the words it is most replaced for in this sector of the blogosphere would be “I think” or “I’m certain”. I would say it then relates at times by how the thought is formed, as much of what it forms to concern. As for people changing their habits to be included, I would say perhaps better more is realized in ways that would have them less so found. Although often still many already confuse “I feel” with “I think”.

    Then again what am I suggesting; for it is often in this way much art is inspired, including what you have pointed to here, which has also utilized reason for bringing it into being. So I guess we must then struggle to maintain and accommodate both as to have a world.



  5. Hi Plato,

    I was expecting you to be present to remind us all of these relative issues and as you can see by the comment I just left that I would not stand in contention of them. I admit that often such things cannot be clearly separated or more so if they should be. What I would insist is that one should never act upon how one feels until one thinks or the other way often at times. It would have us all to suffer less misery while giving more opportunity for invention and discovery.



  6. Hi Phil,

    What I would insist is that one should never act upon how one feels until one thinks or the other way often at times

    Most certainly, and this does in fact point to the most grievous of actions, that while there is this knowing, that such habit forming sentenced to the autonomic system for such "reactionary modes" does allow the observing greater perspective( just highlights the struggle) knowing, that one can observe this action as a continuous string that arrives "from someplace" and moves toward the future.

    While thinking there is no causal connection, how is it that such habits can be broken on the realization, that what was once held to the sleeping individual, now, who has been awakened, has awaken to the realization that all experience and the relevant assertions that such emotive charges are house within that experience, that we cannot say that once recognized, we can change?:)

    It is like "listening between the heart beats" and or "self remembering." We know how hard it is sometimes with all the noise of images that flash taking us back too, now can be altered, to re-represent the past..:)

    Mental clarity is just a "little further" out. The emotive field may contain, where all memories reside? These memories, reside very close to the human body?




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