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Oslo art sculpture uses social media to ‘paint’ the city’s mood

Two Norwegian artists have created an installation that reflects the mood of Oslo's residents through its changing display.

Monolitt, which was created by two students at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design, Syver Lauritzsen and Eirik Haugen Murvoll, oozes paint when someone nearby tweets an emotion.

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The waist-high obelisk releases different colours of paint depending on the prevailing emotion. Black shows annoyance, while pink paint reveals that a happy tweet has been posted. More colours have been assigned to other emotions, so the end result is a mass of paint summing up the city's mood.

The installation analyses the tweets in real-time before sending the coloured paints out through the top of the sculpture, allowing them to flow downwards creating a three-dimensional painting.

The duo was inspired to create the artwork by the idea of combining the relatively new phenomenon of social media with paint, a more traditional art medium. They initially experimented with paintballs as a way of reflecting the city's emotions, before deciding to emulate the work of Holton Rower, an artist who creates three-dimensional paintings by pouring paint over various structures.

While the artists have been pleased with the response garnered by their prototype display, they already have bigger plans for the next attempt.

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"In an ideal world we would like it to be three or four times larger," Lauritzsen said. "Like a proper monolith."

Barclay has been writing about technology for a decade, starting out as a freelancer with IT Pro Portal covering everything from London’s start-up scene to comparisons of the best cloud storage services.  After that, he spent some time as the managing editor of an online outlet focusing on cloud computing, furthering his interest in virtualization, Big Data, and the Internet of Things.