Echo Chamber

The above video is of my installation piece “Echo Chamber,” created in Processing and Photoshop. This program is representative of the echo chamber that social media has become. An echo chamber, in this case, is an enclosed system that repeats, amplifies, or distorts information that is put into it and is not corrected by outward forces. Today’s social media outlets, like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, tend to do just that; we only follow people and pages that reflect our worldview and reinforce our opinions. There is nothing in these pages that would challenge our way of thinking and if someone argues with us, we block them or even go as far to report them. Information can also be distorted to meet our opinions, which is the main goal of this piece. If you post something online, thousands of people can see it and share it, adding captions or editing it to mean what they want it to mean, even if that totally goes against the original poster’s intent. The program also takes pictures based on a timer, showing that you’re always being watched on and off the web. Someone can take a picture or video of you and post it online, saying things about you that may not be true to fit the content to fit, again, their personal opinions or what they see as facts. Even the colors are important in this work; they are the color codes from popular social networks’ icons. The blues are Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr; the red is YouTube; and the yellow is Snapchat. The pause and flash when the program takes a picture and then refreshes itself was at first an accident, but then becomes meaningful if you think of how often a social network’s web page will change when you simply press the refresh button. In all, this work encapsulates the repetitive yet quickly changing echo chamber that social media, and really the world as a whole, has become.


import processing.video.*;

Capture cam;

PImage capture, chamber;

int lastPic;

void setup() {
//window size
fullScreen(P3D);
background (0);
noCursor();
//webcam feed
imageMode (CENTER);

String[] cameras = Capture.list();

//webcam feed
if (cameras.length == 0) {
println(“There are no cameras available for capture.”);
exit();
} else {
println(“Available cameras:”);
for (int i = 0; i < cameras.length; i++) {
println(cameras[i]);
}

cam = new Capture(this, cameras[0]);
cam.start();
}

chamber = loadImage (“Chamber.png”);
}

void draw() {

if (cam.available() == true) {
cam.read();
}

if (millis()-lastPic>=1500)
{
capture = loadImage (“capture.jpg”);
//image capture
saveFrame(“data/capture.jpg”);

background (0);

pushMatrix();
//loading image capture in
capture.resize (700, 394);

image (capture, 1000, 50);//top right
rotateX (PI/8);
filter (BLUR,2);
popMatrix();

pushMatrix();
capture.resize (1000, 563);
rotateY (-PI/8);
rotateZ (PI/8);
image (capture, 200, 300);//top left
filter (GRAY);
popMatrix();

pushMatrix();
capture.resize (395, 700);
image (capture, 640, 200); //middle
filter (POSTERIZE, 6);
popMatrix();

pushMatrix();
capture.resize (600, 1000);
rotateY (PI/8);
image (capture, 1600, 700);//bottom right
filter (DILATE);
popMatrix();

pushMatrix();
capture.resize (700, 394);
image (capture, 400, 750);//bottom left
filter (ERODE);
popMatrix();

lastPic=millis();
}

//web cam feed position, size
pushMatrix();
image(cam, 1130, 340, 200, 200); //top right cam
popMatrix();

pushMatrix();
image(cam, 522, 130, 200, 160); //top left cam
filter (GRAY);
popMatrix();

pushMatrix();
image(cam, 360, 800, 160, 90); //bottom left cam
filter (DILATE);
popMatrix();

image(cam, 900, 700, 320, 180);//bottom middle cam

image (chamber, width/2, height/2);

}

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