I Want You To Want Me (Looking Outward 05)

I Want You To Want Me was a 56′ high-resolution touch-screen installation in The Museum of Modern Art in New York City on Valentine’s Day in 2008. The project was created by Jonathan Harris and Sep Kamvar with the goals of visually representing the search for love in the world of online dating. The individual balloons represent the people whose online profiles they come from. The silhouettes trapped inside the balloons are even doing activities: representing people living their lives while floating around, searching for love.

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The balloons tell the audience parts of people’s dating profiles – separated visually by gender and age to represent people across the spectrum. The balloons also fly in different formations, showing different aspects of online dating visually and through text. The program is even constantly updating itself – pulling information from dating sites every couple of hours and serves as a survey to identify the most popular first dates, turn-ons, desires, self-descriptions, and interests.

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I like how you can learn so much about people and what they think about themselves through a visual representation of something as mundane as online dating. I also never realized how much you can learn about people and their search for self in the midst of their search for companion. My favorite part about this project is that they were able to make something beautiful and elegant to represent data in a practical application. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the project is also reminiscent of Up which is known for the sad love story in the opening. Check out more about I Want You To Want Me if you’re interested.

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