We Feel Fine is an exploration of human emotion on a global scale.
Since August 2005, We Feel Fine has been harvesting human feelings
from a large number of weblogs. Every few minutes, the system searches
the world's newly posted blog entries for occurrences of the phrases
"I feel" and "I am feeling". When it finds such
a phrase, it records the full sentence, up to the period, and identifies
the "feeling" expressed in that sentence (e.g. sad, happy,
depressed, etc.). Because blogs are structured in largely standard
ways, the age, gender, and geographical location of the author can
often be extracted and saved along with the sentence, as can the
local weather conditions at the time the sentence was written. All
of this information is saved.
The result is a database of several million human feelings, increasing by 15,000 - 20,000 new feelings per day. Using a series of playful interfaces, the feelings can be searched and sorted across a number of demographic slices, offering responses to specific questions like: do Europeans feel sad more often than Americans? Do women feel fat more often than men? Does rainy weather affect how we feel? What are the most representative feelings of female New Yorkers in their 20s? What do people feel right now in Baghdad? What were people feeling on Valentine's Day? Which are the happiest cities in the world? The saddest? And so on.
The interface to this data is a self-organizing particle system,
where each particle represents a single feeling posted by a single
individual. The particles' properties – color, size, shape,
opacity – indicate the nature of the feeling inside, and any
particle can be clicked to reveal the full sentence or photograph
it contains. The particles careen wildly around the screen until
asked to self-organize along any number of axes, expressing various
pictures of human emotion. We Feel Fine paints these pictures in
six formal movements titled: Madness,
At its core, We Feel Fine is an artwork authored by everyone. It
will grow and change as we grow and change, reflecting what's on
our blogs, what's in our hearts, what's in our minds. We hope it
makes the world seem a little smaller, and we hope it helps people
see beauty in the everyday ups and downs of life.
- Jonathan Harris & Sep Kamvar