Jonathan Harris & Sep Kamvar
USA – 2006
Since August 2005, We Feel Fine has been harvesting human feelings from a large number of weblogs. Every few minutes, the system searches for occurrences of the phrases “I feel” and “I am feeling”. When it finds such a phrase, it records the full sentence, up to the period, and identifies the “feeling” expressed in that sentence (e.g. sad, happy, depressed, etc.). Because blogs are structured in largely standard ways, the age, gender, and geographical location of the author can often be extracted and saved along with the sentence, as can the local weather conditions at the time the sentence was written. All of this information is saved and a database of several million human feelings is formed, that can can be searched and sorted across a number of demographic slices. We Feel Fine is an artwork authored by everyone that grows and changes according to what’s on our blogs, what’s in our minds.
Combining elements of computer science, anthropology, visual art and storytelling, Jonathan Harris designs systems to explore and explain the human world. He has made projects about human emotion, human desire, modern mythology, science, news, anonymity and language. The winner of two 2005 Webby Awards, Harris’ work has also been recognized by well known festivals and journals globally.
Sep Kamvar is a Consulting Professor of Computational Mathematics at Stanford University and the chairman of Wildflower Capital. He founded Kaltix, a search engine that was acquired by Google in 2003, and Distilled, a clothing line and artist collective based out of San Francisco.