SENTIMENT DATA PAINTINGS - FASHION MEMORY, 2023
For the Workstation New Media exhibition, artist Rudolfo Quintas is presenting a Net Art project that results in a series of new digital paintings (data paintings) created by analyzing the sentiment of fashion news stories.
Data Paintings are digital paintings created from information (data). In the case of the paintings developed for ModaLisboa’s project, news stories about the fashion world were collected from more than 20 news sources around the world during the months of August and September 2023, forming a database of hundreds of news items.
These news stories were grouped together in a database where an artificial intelligence algorithm was processed to classify the sentiment of each news on a scale of positive, neutral and negative. These values are then used in the painting system which assigns a different colour to each value resulting from the sentiment analysis.
On display is the piece News Reader System: Sentiment Database - Fashion Memory, September 2023. The work consists of a monitor, microcomputer, Python software and aluminum structure where visitors are shown news from the fashion database and its classification in terms of sentiment analysis.
Alongside are five digital paintings Sentiment Data Paintings - Fashion Memory #1, #2, #3, #4, #5 that were generated using the information contained in the database. These paintings translate and express the sentiment of the news headlines into colour, socially dependent on what has happened recently in the world of fashion.
News stories analyzed as negative are painted in cold patches, positive ones in warm colours and the intensity of feeling is represented by the brightness of the colour. The colour patches of previous news stories blend over time with the colour patches generated by new news stories, mirroring how our mind processes, accumulates and emotionally jumps through memories and information.
Exposing past information from recent times allows us alternative temporal readings to better understand the present. Through the serial display of these five paintings, visitors can visually understand the proportion of cold-coloured screens versus neutral and warm-coloured screens and draw their own conclusions about the way the sentiment of news about the fashion world is communicated and the impact it can have on mental health.
The artworks presented are part of the studio's News Feed project, which is an artistic investigation into the impact of the media on mental health and the ethics of artificial intelligence, such as power, control and decision-making structures, in particular natural language processing systems, such as information written and analysed autonomously on the internet. The artist's studio has been developing this research since 2018, to which exhibitions at the Museu Nacional de Arte Contemporânea do Chiado, Galeria Foco, the Sónar festival and now ModaLisboa's Workstation New Media project have contributed. In December, the project will be internationalized with an exhibition in Miami at the Untitled Art Fair.