Hope Floats in Online Dating – I Want You to Want Me By Harris and Kamvar

Feb 29, 2008

Jonathan Harris and Sep Kamvar collaborated again in their featured piece at New York Museum of Modern Art’s Design of the Elastic Mind exhibit. Similar in flavor to their previous work, I Want You to Want Me explores the search for love and for self in the online dating world i.e. data collected from various online dating sites every few hours.

I Want You To Want Me chronicles the world’s long-term relationship with romance, across all ages, genders, and sexualities, gathering new data from a variety of online dating sites every few hours. The system searches these sites for certain phrases, which it then collects and stores in a database. These phrases, taken out of context, provide partial glimpses into people’s private lives. Simultaneously, the system forms an evolving zeitgeist of dating, tracking the most popular first dates, turn-ons, desires, self-descriptions and interests.

Each balloon represents a single dating profile with one of 500 video silhouettes of people doing yoga, nose-picking, jumping jacks, etc. The weather background can be controlled by a viewer and each balloon, when touched, will show a snippet sentence from the personal life of that profile. Did I mention this installation is fully interactive on a 56-inch touch screen?

Installation in the studio

Gorgeous. IWYWM is a beautiful collaboration of computer science, math, and art that uses data to evoke a viewers’ emotions at a very personal level.

Here are some more shots:

What I Want Movement

Openers Movement

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