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Harvestworks presents Web Artist Petko Dourmana


Petko Dourmana: SocioScan and other Works

Monday October 25, 2004

Harvestworks is pleased to present Web Artist Petko Dourmana, a CEC Arts
Link Fellow from Sofia Bulgaria who is in residence at Harvestworks.
Petko will present excerpts from “SocioScan” as well as projects with
InterSpace, a new media organization in Bulgaria. “SocioScan” will be
exhibited in the \/// harvestworks ///\ Workspace Projects
Exhibition in the Project Room of the Chelsea Art Museum from October
23th to November 6, 2004.

A project by Petko Dourmana - http://www.socioscan.net
SociоScan Project is a web interface (platform) for the scanning and
mapping of personal information that is exchanged in virtual
communication, particularly in chat rooms. The methodology is
reminiscent of the medical test for the detection of sociopathic
disorders, where a brain scanner is used to indicate in real time the
mutations in the brain functions, based on the reactions to emotional
words and/or images.

The project scans and visualizes people's communications in the chat
rooms through a statistical analysis of the use of various key words
with emotional meaning in selected chat channels on the Internet. The
output is a colorized clustering map, operating with: size, color and
brightness, representing in real time the changes in the use of listed
emotional words. The visual aesthetics of the map is similar to the
image of the human brain, created by the PET (Positron emission
tomography) scanner.

For the project’s purpose a special IRC bot has been developed. It
operates in the chat channels, indicating the use of key words with
emotional resonance. The keywords are given to the bot in an advanced
list in order to recognize them.
The user can reinforce the activity of chat channels by spreading out
sentences that include some words with emotional resonance and also to
add words from the web interface.

Whenever the bot detects the use of one of the keywords, it streams a
report to the server that visualizes in real time the statistic trough
web interface. The visualization system of the project SociоScan map
uses the “treemap” algorithm - a space-constrained visualization of
hierarchical structures, developed by the Human Computer Interaction
Lab, University of Maryland. http://www.cs.umd.edu/hcil/treemap

Petko Dourmana

Petko Dourmana is a media artist and organizer of projects in the area
of art and technology. He is founder and director of Interspace Media
Art Centre, Sofia.
His artistic research and activities are mostly on the cutting edge of
communication and information technologies. His works have been shown at
exhibitions like Free Bitflows - K-haus/Vienna, banquet. Metabolism and
Communication - ZKM/Karlsruhe, Web 3D Show - ICA/London and festivals
like ISEA, Next Five Minutes, VIPER etc. More for his current art
projects on: www.dourmana.com

Harvestworks is a nonprofit Digital Media Arts Center that provides
resources for artists to learn digital tools and exhibit experimental
work created with digital technologies. This program is partially funded
by media The foundation, the CEC Arts Link Program and the New York
State Council on the Arts.

MONDAY,October 25 at 7pm
596 Broadway, Suite 602, NY, NY 10012/corner of Broadway & Houston
subway: Broadway/Lafayette (F/V), Bleecker (6), Prince St. (N/R)
212-431-1130 (p), 212-431-7693(f)
www.harvestworks.org / contact Carol Parkinson: 212-431-1130