Focused on Creativity

Martha Gabriel

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Martha Gabriel ( – artist working and researching in new media field. Participation in several international art exhibitions, like; FILE (Electronic Language International Festival) 2003 to 2009; SIGGRAPH (2005, 2006, 2009); Nokia Trends, Brazil (2007, 2008); Campus Party Brazil 2009; ISEA (2008, 2009); Mobilefest 2009, Brazil; Florence Biennial 2009 (awarded); Technarte 2010, Spain, etc. Three  individual exhibitions in Brazil in 2010.

Engineer, postgraduate in Marketing and Design, Master’s Degree in Art & Technology, dissertation abstract published at LABS – Leonardo Abstract Services. Pursuing her PhD in Art at University of São Paulo researching social networks. Pursuing her PhD in art researching Transmídia Storytelling in Art (concluding in 2012).

Crystal Ball is a mobile webart work that functions like a crystal ball for visualizing the top 10 trends happening in real time in the world. The work shows a spinning ball that presents the images related to the 10 Twitter Trending Topics (TT) – the images are obtained via Google Images when searching for the TT terms. According to the changes in the TT, the crystal ball changes in real time too. When the interactor touches the images on the surface of the ball, the work shows the image in the Center of the screen and all the tweets related to that trend.

The main screen where the ball appears spinning, several tweets appear around the ball. Those tweets are the messages the interactors can send to the work (using the hashtag #crystalball) to change its color background acoording to the pace of the messages. The color can vary from black (original color) to red, passing through all rainbow colors. The hashtag #crystalball is the open channel for the audience participation. The ball represents the world community and the tweets around the ball represents the individuals and their voluntary actions in the universe.

The images of the trends on the crystal ball surface intend to cause reflection about the fact that people affect and change de world with their small actions (tweets), whether they want or not, whether they are conscious about that or not (the Twitter trends emerge as a resulto f all micro messages posted on the world). On the other hand, the work background color is controlled by the individual and intentional tweets posted on Twitter with the hashtag #crystalball. Therefore, that color intends to cause reflection about the individual intentional actions that each and any one can intentionally make and that can affect and change the world too.

In other words, the artwork Crystal Ball intends to poetically cause reflection about how people can affect and transform the world by playing two different roles – intentionally or involuntarily. Another objective of the work is to show, in a visual way, the power of the presential networks, like Twitter, that leveraged by mobile technologies have affected profoundly the world, catalising information, manifestations, and increased the connection and density of the human web.

The artwork Crystal Ball, therefore, aims to create awareness and reflection about the power of the presential social networks and to allow the visualizaition of  the things that emerge from people acting actively in the world – intentionally or not – functioning like a crystal ball or a thermometer for the transfornations.

Crystal Ball allows seeing and interacting with what is impacting our planet in real time providing the visualization of the network interpreted by itself (Google images interpreting Twitter trends), where the action of each person, consciously or not, affect the whole. Physically, the work functions as a touch interface over a table, to allow the interaction with the Crystal Ball like in ancient times

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