Lucent

2007

An interactive installation created in collaboration with Katherine Sweetman and commissioned by the Office of Research Affairs at the University of California, San Diego. When visitors enter the building the software generates image sequences by querying the university library database for titles containing keywords "light" and "illuminated." The software then associates words from those titles with tagged images on Flickr.

Lucent produces visuals representing the apparent contradiction between public and private space. It taps into the free flows of information and often chaotic results produced by networked programmable machines which serve to further complicate those spaces.

Lucent [software] (2007)
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Lucent (2007)

Technology

  1. A wireless doorchime hacked together with a USB mouse detects when someone enters the building
  2. The mouse sends a click to the Flash frontend, which connects to a PHP script on a local Macintosh/Apache/PHP server
  3. The script queries an enormous txt file containing records from the UCSD library
  4. ... selects one and removes the common words and
  5. ... using the phpFlickr class by Dan Coulter
  6. ... connects to the Flickr API and queries each word from the phrase
  7. ... downloads and resizes each image
  8. and passes the filenames and other data back to Flash which displays them.
Flickr, UCSD, University of California, San Diego, webcam