I've just watched Jonathan Harris' presentation at TED about his new projects that not only gather from the Web the emotions posted by people (We feel fine), but even present with astonishing visuals search terms that float around the screen like clouds of constellations (Universe).

Universe presents an interactive night sky, composed of thousands of twinkling stars, which then connect to form constellations. Each of these constellations has a specific counterpart in the physical world — a story, a person, a quote, an image, a company, a nation, a mythic theme. Any constellation can be clicked, making it the center of the universe, and causing all other stars to enter its orbit. Universe is infinitely large, and each person’s path through it will be different.

Both projects are amazing, showing a truly innovative mind. Jonathan Harris is an artist and storyteller working primarily on the Internet. One part computer science, one part anthropology, and one part visual art, his work seeks to explore and understand the human world through the artifacts people leave behind on the Web.

"As humans, we have a long history of projecting our great stories into the night sky. This leads us to wonder: if we were to make new constellations today, what would they be? If we were to paint new pictures in the sky, what would they depict? These questions form the inspiration for Universe, which explores the notions of modern mythology and contemporary constellations."

You can watch the presentation here: Jonathan Harris: The Web's secret stories.

Check out Jonathan Harris' site for more projects, and even a short bio.

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