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The Kinetic Storyteller
About the artwork

Interactive and networked swings that materialising social media data through kinetic interaction and play. Originally commissioned by SIGGRAPH Art Gallery (LA, US) 2016.

The Kinetic Storyteller is a playful environment for social interaction consisting of a pair of swings next to each other. As participant swings on a structure, they are connected to the twitter stream of the networked landscape around them. With each kinetic swing rotation, new messages tagged with specific hashtags are presented on three large screen situated in front and to the sides of the participants.

The social interaction is not only to reveal data, here each swing seat generate different narratives. Thus the kinetic motion of the swings drives the data stream, illuminating this lost connection between our physical movement and the information that we generate and carry with us daily from our mobile devices. Participant’s interaction with the swings materialises the data invisible moving through our environment via their social and kinetic engagement.

Social engagement in public space can be an awkward, challenging, and often a difficult experience for people unfamiliar with each other or their surroundings. The need for a non-partial mediator to connect people is something that artists have been tackling with their work for many years and is still being reinvented daily. This form of intervention allows for people occupying a space to engage in playful and anonymous interaction with others. Creatively speaking, this can take the form of a simple note on the wall that reminds people that others exist around them, or a full-scale interactive experience that encourages interaction between people and as well as the invitation to play with a system

The playground swing is one of life’s simplest pleasures. Feeling your suspended body move through space, rising and falling in a fixed arc that flows first with then against, the pull of gravity, is both thrilling and reassuring. It remains a peerless, timeless invention and an open invitation to play, for children and adults alike. The Kinetic Storyteller is an interactive reinvention of the swing that brings additional dimensions to data materialisation.

Created in collaboration with engineer Louis Christodoulou.
Videos by Tine Bech and Louis Christodoulou.


SIGGRAPH Art Gallery: Data Materialities, (LA, US) 2016.

What people said

No one leaves without a smile

It’s a wonderful piece. It’s playful – and it’s a comment on the meaningless of data.

It’s one of those artworks that got a lot cooler once I got on it.

This is awesome. It’s interactive live data – and also visually intriguing.
-Feedback by audiences at SIGGRAPH Art Gallery (LA, US) 2016

Oh no I am evil
-Participant playing with the combination of the live hashtags


SIGGRAPH is the world’s largest, most influential annual event in computer graphics and interactive techniques. Artwork and artists for the SIGGRAPH 2016 Art Gallery are selected by the Art Gallery Chair and not by a jury.

Supported by Leonardo and The MIT Press.
Supported by Ravensbourne University London

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