|2015||Greg Hochmuth,Jonathan Harris|
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Network Effect explores the psychological effects of Internet use on humanity, presenting an overwhelming assault of audiovisual material collected online.
Jonathan Harris, Author.
Network Effect is an overwhelming interactive collage that uses data visualization to interrogate how we learn, think, and connect with others online. Viewers can only experience the project once every 24 hours, for around seven minutes—the exact time is calculated based on the average life expectancy where viewers live. The countdown clock and sound of thudding heartbeats create a tense feeling of urgency before viewers even begin to explore the data.
Project creators Jonathan Harris and Greg Hochmuth gathered a massive amount of data on 100 behaviors, such as give, hug, run, and argue. This data includes tweets, Youtube videos, and news headlines mentioning each behavior. They also hired workers through Amazon Mechanical Turk to read the tweets aloud and research when and how often behaviors occurred. Clicking on any of the behaviors sets off an endless stream of these videos, words, and data points, as well as the cacophony of tweets being read aloud. This sensory overload reflects the seductive but ultimately empty experience of browsing the internet: Harris and Hochmuth argue that “We do not go away happier, more nourished, and wiser, but ever more anxious, distracted, and numb.”