Saturday, May 20, 2006


Google Dreams (well.. Dreamlines using Google Images)

Try this site with your set of words. (hint: try Boston RedSox or Google or Microsoft)

What is this site? According to the designers..

Dreamlines is a non-linear, interactive visual experience. The user enters
one or more words that define the subject of a dream he would like to dream. The
system looks in the Web for images related to those words, and takes them as
input to generate an ambiguous painting, in perpetual change, where elements
fuse into one another, in a process analogous to memory and free association.
The system has been developed in Java and PHP. First, a PHP script makes a
Google image search of the words entered by the user. Then, the Java applet
retrieves the images one by one, and uses them as input to generate an
ever-changing drawing.

The pictures are never actually shown. The drawing
itself is produced by 1500 autonomous particles in perpetual movement. The last
image loaded serves as a sort of virtual terrain for them. The direction and
speed of each particle is given, at each step, by the color values of the pixel
they are stepping on. Different sets of formulas translate the hue, saturation
and brightness of the pixel in angle and velocity values for the particle. The
path of each particle is traced to the screen, and this forms the output seen by
the user.

Thus, the work is at the same time a study on population dynamics,
or on the emergent behavior of a multitude of very simple autonomous agents.
Who is dreaming? The user, or the Internet itself? In a certain way, both.
The program generates a personal moving picture, unique, unpredictable, and
forever gone when it is finished, just like dreams. But that dream is made out
of pieces taken form the subconscious of the whole net, gathered by some words
of the user and the obscure logic of searching algorithms.
Is this simply another way to mash-up Google images? How can this be refined? What other uses and applications do you see?

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