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TED is a large, wall-based installation consisting of an array of 80 Teddy Ruxpin dolls that speak emotional content gathered from the web via synthetic speech with animated mouths. The speaking of the emotional content is accompanied by one of twenty-four musical vignettes that have been paired to the emotional content being spoken. Each vignette, representing one of twenty-four subtle variants of human emotion, have been composed in such a way that the beginnings and ends of the short pieces will seamlessly dogleg in any possible configuration and stream endlessly as a unified whole. The installation is allowed to drift about freely through the emotional landscape being driven only by those who are contributing content to the piece whether unwittingly or consciously.
Thanks to the interconnectivity provided by the internet people have never before been better able to express their emotions to the world community. Every day hundreds of thousands of people use a myriad of blogs and other online outlets to discuss how they are feeling on an endless array of topics ranging from superficial thoughts on the quality ones ‘hair day’ to extremely intimate considerations of love, betrayal or even whether or not they should end their lives. Literally every subtle increment on the scale of the human emotional condition is expressed on the World Wide Web. Alas, due to the tremendous scale of information available many of these expressions are buried within a sea of noise. The goal of my installation “T,E.D.” is to give a literal voice and physical presence to a portion of this content as it is expressed in real-time.