Generation X writer Douglas Coupland collaborated with musician Paul Humphreys (lead vocals of synth pop band Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, of “If You Leave” 1985 fame) for an art project funded by global telecommunications giant Alcatel-Lucent. They created a musical track (Humphreys sings Coupland’s lyrics to a pop-goes-the-weasel melody) that visually interacts with telecommunications data gathered by A-L. Imagine colorful, digital confetti scattering and gathering to ultimately form a flower. Each viewing of “Electric Ikebana” is different as A-L pulls global data of internet traffic and has it interact with your IP address, location, and time of day.
Ikebana refers to the Japanese art of flower arrangement. A measure of success in ikebana is how alive the flowers feel at the end of an arrangement. Coupland explains that Electric Ikebana was created as a means of visualizing data for everyday people who don’t realize how data affects their daily lives. How everyday people feel after watching their data and the data around them swirl into a digital flower hasn’t been revealed. But chances are they’ll keep watching. http://vimeo.com/44063909