Presented by: Brian Kelly
“who:ru” (who are you?) was inspired by social media, cartography, and information graphics.
“who:ru” is an emergent piece that worked through the interactions of attendees to a regional tech gathering.
The intent of this installation was to explore releasing some degree of authorship, and to allow a piece to grow within specific parameters. To this end, a large scale map of the United States was temporarily projected onto a gallery wall for geographical reference locating the top 50 populated US cities. A single connective string was used to tie them together in sequential order, simultaneously referencing the outer edges of the US through Gestalt effect. Night time satellite imagery of Earth served as a point of inspiration for its ability to communicate density and activity through only points of light. Similarly, each participant was a represented through a map pin with demographic information. Attendees were encouraged to locate a custom profile map pin on the city where they were currently working. This profile pin identified each person’s area of work emphasis (architecture, web design, graphic design, startup, advertising, etc.), gender, and number of times they have attended the gathering. This installation was a twist on social networking except, rather than having a virtual presence, connections are tangible and manifest the conference demographic. Eventually, the projected lines of the map, which we understand as borders between states, were removed. At that point, the only remains were the avatars of people and their relative connection. Data collected was translated into a set of information graphics illustrating the conference demographic.