emoto – Visualising the Emotional Response to London 2012

Screenshot of emoto website main page

emoto is a unique data art project that sets out to visualise the online emotional response to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

emoto will exquisitely visualise the relations between the huge numbers of global messages on the Internet. We track twitter for themes related to London 2012 and analyse the messages for content and emotional tone. The collected emotion data is captured and visualised into an artwork which can be experienced via interactive digital displays and on-site installations.

emoto moves from real-time (web-based visualisation) to archive (data sculpture, at the Cultural Olympiad closing event).

Online Visualisation

Our web-based visualisation shows both the big picture, the world from above, and the intimate and personal. In topics we see the big picture, which event, athlete or topic is generating the most attention in the moment, and the mix of positive and negative emotions for each. The anecdotal, personal and ephemeral is seen in the stream of individual messages. An overview on each day shows an even bigger picture, the trends and patterns. This is a new way to make sense of the pulse of the Games.

emoto heat map
Data Sculpture

The data art sculpture at WE PLAY Expo is a cumulative record of the collective response to the Olympics, with projected overlays conveying individual stories.

In addition, the emoto team will blog about interesting findings in the digital visualisations – for example where a cluster of comments can be attributed to a particular event or sports person – providing a more in-depth analysis of these historic sporting events which are being experienced and shared by online audiences.

emoto launches on 26 July online, the day before the Olympic Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games, and provides a unique real-time manifestation of the worldwide mood in response to London 2012.

Created by artists Moritz Stefaner, Drew Hemment and Studio NAND, emoto is a FutureEverything project for the Cultural Olympiad programme and London 2012 Festival. Funded by Arts Council England and WE PLAY/Legacy Trust UK.