This series of work was a result of experimenting with how html and css code might be used to create pure web browser ‘code-paintings’ with html acting as the ‘canvas’ and css as the ‘paint’ which subsequently places the browser as the environment where the artwork exists and the space where we can experience it. At the same time I had been experimenting with the Twitter Search API for a separate project and analysing the results being returned in large arrays of user data. I discovered that sections of these data-sets held user settings such as hexadecimal colour codes for profile backgrounds, sidebars, links and text and so on. I began utilising these Twitter profile colour settings to set full-page multi-colour css gradient fills to act as ‘automatic webpage paintings’, becoming something akin to a Pollock or Rothko for an age of social media.
A set of simple rules was developed for automating how user profiles could be selected by searching trending global hashtags, extracting colour codes, tweets and images and storing this information to a database which would then be referenced by an external webpage. This process is executed once each day and used to compile an ever evolving daily sequence of generative compositions.
In an age of self-authorship and self-publication, fake-news and post-truth mash-ups these auto data-artworks might be seen as portraits of modern society, accidentally encapsulating the humour, violence, poignancy and surrealism of our digital culture.
Dewi Williams, TWEETPAINT 22/03/2017 (HEXPOSED), website, 2017
Dewi Williams, TWEETPAINT 06/04/2017 (VISITATION), website, 2017
Dewi Williams, TWEETPAINT 26/05/2017 (OVERSIMPLIFICATION), website, 2017