News of the world

Luke McKernan writes:

allthenews

News is not an absolute. Though we talk about world news, what is news to one person is to necessarily news to another. News is a report of an event of specific interest to a particular audience. So it is that online news services such as Google News or Yahoo News offer means to tailor the world’s news streams to your particular interests. Sign up to the BBC news app, and it will shape the news to your location. Publishers deliver, but it is readers and viewers to ultimately construct the news around what interest them, around their world.

Nevertheless the idea remains of an absolute world of news. It’s more a concept for an artist than a journalist, and I have been fascinated by Martin John Callanan‘s online installation, I Wanted to See All of the News From Today. Created for an exhibition held earlier this year by the Slade Centre for Electronic Media in Fine Art, it persists online. What he has done is generated feeds for all (?) of the world’s newspaper websites where they make their front pages available on a daily basis. This he then ingeniously publishes on a single webpage, allowing you to scroll through hundreds of newspaper pages from every land and language imaginable – and with every concern under the sun. And as a new page is published, so the website changes. The screengrab above is for a small part of the news pages for 30 August 2013, a heady day for news indeed.

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Callanan’s artwork makes one ponder the nature of news and community. It shows how we all thirst after news, but how different our concerns are. It shows how news separates us, how different we all are, even if the same kinds of story persist wherever we are (celebrities, murder, scandal, sport, animals). it is the world’s news, but also no one’s news in this form.

newsmap

There have been other attempts to pull together the world’s news in one place, for journalistic rather than artistic reasons. Mostly based around maps and Google News feeds, these efforts have come and gone. The standout effort, which is superb as a news source quite as much as an ingenious piece of programming, is design engineer Marcos Weskamp‘s site Newsmap.

Newsmap visualises data from the Google News aggregator on a continual basis, displaying the world’s news with headlines taken from news websites (which link to those sites) displayed according to priority, territory, theme and time. So one can see all the world’s news, algorithmnically ordered according to its significance in relation to other news stories. The newsmap can be tailored to different countries or groups of countries, and is classifiable by themes such as Business, Technology and Sport, which are colour-coded for easy reference. The colour then comes in different shades according to how recent the news is. It is a brilliant realisation of a solution to the information problem Weskamp identifies on his personal site:

Currently, the internet presents a highly disorganized collage of information. Many of us are working in an information-soaked world. There is too much of everything. We are subject everywhere to a sensory overload of images, bombarded with information; in magazines and advertisements, on TV, radio, in the cityscape. The internet is a wonderful communication tool, but day after day we find ourselves constantly dealing with information overload. Today, the internet presents a new challenge, the wide and unregulated distribution of information requires new visual paradigms to organize, simplify and analyze large amounts of data. New user interface challenges are arising to deal with all that overwhelming quantity of information.

I find that Newsmap is not just an inspired attempt at making the information overload manageable; it makes knowing more about the world desirable. While I Wanted to See All of the News From Today shows how divided we are all, and how mutual understanding is a fantasy, Newsmap demonstrates that our news is anyone’s news. The one cannot contain the world’s news on a screen and can only let us scroll endlessly through page after page. The other distills, condenses, classifies and makes clear. It is news for the world.

Newsmap has been running since 2004, and Weskamp’s last blog entry about the site was in 2010. I do hope it will continue to be supported. It’s one of those key sites that tells you what the Internet is for, and how it has changed us – for the better.

Orginal article

Global, solo exhibition at Casal Solleric, March – June 2012


A solo exhibition across six spaces at Casal Solleric, the city of Palma’s contemporary art gallery and archive, including two new works.




Ten years in the making, and shown here for the fist time, Grounds, an archive of thousands of photographs of the ground in locations important to society. A set of 200 displayed across three slide projectors.



Wars During My Life Time, a new work for this exhibition, a newspaper listing – in Catalan – all wars fought during my lifetime.


I Wanted to See All of the News From Today, amasses from across the internet, the front pages of over 960 newspapers from around the world and displays these images within the space of a single scrolling display.

Text Trends, an animation which takes the content generated by search queries and reduces this process to its essential elements: search terms vs. frequency searched for over time, presented in the form of a line graph.

Gallery information sheet in English, Catalan and Castellano [PDF]

Curated by Pau Waelder and Fernando Gómez as part of (HIPER)vincles

Daily

Daily, curated by Jacqueline Friedman:

Artist Martin John Callanan’s “I Wanted to See all of the News from Today” collects the front pages of newspapers from around the world daily and displays them all together on one large web page. The primary purpose of this artwork is to include all printed national newspapers daily on one website. This is unique because each day a spectator can view all the front pages on national newspapers simultaneously. Therefore, a viewer is able to compare the subject matters from different nation’s front pages of their newspaper from around the world. This piece is unique to Daily curatorial show because it is the only art project chosen that is not user-friendly when trying to look at previous days’ sites, as it is not treated like a blog. “I Wanted to See all of the News from Today” successfully visually expresses history per day.

Daily is an online exhibition portraying the effect of art updated daily and continuously, ranging from a set collapsed-time projects, such as a year or three months, to ongoing artwork with no end date. With an array of themes such as World News as well as personal daily blogs, the linking factors among the artwork in Daily exemplify progression and history. Although some of the artwork chosen for Daily directly portrays history of news, the progression in the show Daily is dealing with the development within an artwork.

A common factor within each artwork is a start date, and one can compare the first post of the project to the most recent or any post in the project, allowing a viewer to note its succession and development. Furthermore, the consistency being updated everyday is significant; it forces an artist to update on a daily, regular basis rather than when an artist feels like updating. This helps distinguish what art-updated-daily is. This new form of documentation is similar to the 21st century, common term blog – a digital, update website that can resemble a diary as well as a place on the Internet to post comments. Another distinguishing factor, is that the artwork included in Daily are on the World Wide Web, meaning they are accessible to everyone on the Internet.

Besides being updated daily, each piece of artwork displays the information in reverse chronological order. This is a distinguishing factor of a blog. The one exception to a “blog-like” appearance in Daily is “I wanted to See All of the News From Today” by Martin Jon Callanan who only shows the most recent update on the initial website; a viewer must search harder to view previous posts. However, the piece was included in Daily because it is a new form of updating daily, and has similarities with some of the other pieces.

Each piece of artwork in Daily has to do with a progression over a certain amount of time; however, some pieces deal with self-portraiture and privacy on the Internet, personal information on a public space, while other artwork included deal with history and the news. Daily brings these pieces together to show how these pieces are linked together through being updated daily.

Everyday Life: the things that shape us

Everyday Life: the things that shape us, a Rhizome Exhibit, curated by Andrea Margois, includes I Wanted to See All of the News From Today

Everyone is different. Identity is something that is unique to the individual. The moments in life that shape us into who we are and what we do are things that, often times, others are able to relate to. This collection tells a piece of those stories and connects us to the individual through auditory, visual and written recollections of events. We are given simple snapshots into their complex lives and leave feeling as if we know them and what they are about.

These are the front pages of newspapers from around the world. Updated daily, the newspaper has the ability to touch so many different lives. World news is something that affects us all, whether we pay close attention to it or not.

Front Page Aesthetics

Greg is fascinated by newspapers and writes about I Wanted to See All the News from Today over on Serial Consign:

Earlier this year, Martin John Callanan launched a project called I Wanted to See All the News from Today which mines feeds from hundreds of newspapers from around the world and sets up an impressive array of front pages. There are moments within this work when a few adjacent papers feature some of the same content illustrating the permutational quality of how stories are explored in different nodes across a network of texts.

Mediart, curated by James Worsham

I Wanted to See All of the News From Today, included in Mediart, a Rhizome Exhibit, curated by James Worsham,:

Media in our society is unavoidable. It plagues every aspect of our lives, being almost intrudingly accesible everywhere, from our daily publications to our living rooms, from our office desk to our home computer. News, in particular, is ever present, yet easily biased. Favoritism towards one viewpoint or another is inevitable when information can be so easily personalized and polarized. I’ve gathered several works that include this aspect of modern society. Artists, long known to call the bluff of modern man, never skip a beat when it comes to informational media. Other aspects are so prevalent that they are often ignored entirely. Marketing and advertising is more prevalent than news, especially when ‘news’ is used as an advertising agent. Logos, slogans, campaigns and imagery are drilled into our heads at every turn. Unfortunately, many people in our society rely solely on these messages as a means of imbibing fact, taking for granted elements of manipulation that any ‘good’ ad campaign is sure to employ. The websites I’ve chosen below all use different methods to convey the fallacies and implausibilities of media in our society, from newspapers to children’s games.

Martin John Callanan has been collecting front pages of various media and news sources and displaying them on a single page. The sources range from socialite periodicals to hard-hitting newsheads from all around the world. The effect is both overwhelming and inviting, asking you to examine each one, but only if you can inspect all of them. The viewpoints change per country of publication, let alone intended audience. I enjoyed the idea that at once the audience was forced to translate images, text and presentation into their own innate sense of format and cultural context. The idea that everyone around the world could see this piece and it would change given their location, age, gender, etc. added to it’s deluge of information.

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