[ISEA2022] Artist Talk: Jiayi Young — Archiving Twitter Database & Visualization from Artwork


Second Summit on New Media Art Archiving
June 11, MACBA – Convent dels Àngels. Lightning Talk

Keywords: archiving strategies, database, twitter data repository, 2020 election disinformation, social media

Project Echo is a new media artwork that produced a valuable dataset on the state of the truth-telling crisis as reflected as disinformation spread on Twitter during the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. How do we archive and provide public access to such artworks and preserve them as important historical artifacts?

In 2020, I created an artwork on the state of truth-telling crisis during the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. The project is titled Project Echo. It is a multi-modality and multi-disciplinary new media artwork involving Twitter data and took two and a half years of extensive research collaboration with a political scientist and a computer engineer to develop. When the project concluded shortly after the Capitol insurrection, we realized that we had compiled a significant database of Tweets. It has become a valuable historical record of Twitter disinformation activity relating to the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. As an artist unfamiliar with how archives are established, I am interested in figuring out how to provide public access to the database and its associated visualizations. I look to cultural institutions to help establish an archive of the database and provide the public with the opportunity to access this piece of American History.

  • Jiayi Young is an artist and a designer. She is an Associate Professor of Design at the University of California, Davis, USA. Young creates large-scale installations, permanent and temporary public artworks. Her inquiries lie within the emergent and experimental field of digital media with an emphasis on the cross-disciplinary areas of design that integrate the arts and the sciences with cutting-edge technology. Her current research and creative work are focused on constructing data-driven interfaces, installations, real-time projection graphics, participatory performances, and immersive environments in cultural and public places with the goal of creating generative energy to engage the public in social dialogue.