About this piece:

Title: Fear [landscape] and Fear [portrait]
Year: 2005
Dimensions: variable
Materials: data

Fear submits 13 phrases [search terms] to Google news, and records the number of news stories [hits] for each term. Fear responds to the number of hits provided by Google by changing the opacity of graphics and the volume of sound. Search terms that return more results have brighter graphic symbols and their corresponding sounds are louder.


Fear is a program designed to interpret and graph which sorts of disasters are most present in the news. Although there are few nuclear disasters upon which to report, the term "nuclear disaster" regularly returns around 200 hits [at this time, May '05]. Fear considers the possibility that the news media is not always reporting on actual occurrences, but that it speculates on sometimes remote possibilities in order to titillate and engage an audience.


caveat, caveat, caveat:


Fear was created specifically for the exhibition reasonable & senseless: a technical disaster at the Surrey Art Gallery's Techlab, May 21-July 10, 2005.Though this work was intended to be an independent program, running exclusively in a gallery setting, this shockwave version is a somewhat unsupported, and partially robust version.


This version of fear is an animated Shockwave file created in Macromedia Director.
In order to see this work, the browser must have the Shockwave plug-in installed. Strangely enough, on the mac and pc, it works very well in IE. Only loads and animates in Safari and Firefox, and does not appear to display or respond to news values or play audio. Fear [landscape] and fear [portrait] are in one file, about 2MB. Depending on which platform/browser the image may be scalable by resizing the window. Opera appears to be incapable of handling shockwave files.

It may crash your browser...[but it only happened once that i know of]


Fear [landscape] refers to the visual component, [portrait] to the audio --which may be separated for exhibition purposes... as they do not correspond in a literal narrative way.

Launch the fear shockwave file in a new window

 

symbol

image

Search term

sound

NUCL

Mushroom cloud

"nuclear disaster"

Nuclear explosion

AIRC

airplane

aeronautics+disaster

Airplane

WATR

pond

"water treatment"+disaster

Water sounds

PHRM

billboard

pharmaceutical+disaster

Rattling pill bottle

GLWM

Sun and sky

"global warming"+disaster

Fire

GENE

Monarch butterfly

genetic+disaster

Flapping

ECNM

Graph [CND to USD 2004-5]

"stock market"+disaster

Jingling coins

SATL

Comm. satellite

satellite+communications+disaster

Satellite [pinging bells]

NAUT

ship

nautical+disaster

Ocean, seagulls

ARCH

building

architecture+engineering+disaster

Implosion

POWR

Power tower

"power grid"+disaster

Electrical arc

OILS

Pipeline

oil+pipeline+disaster

Drippy pipe

SPAC

Sputnik

"space exploration"+disaster

Rocket launch