Blogged, the bubble inflated by blog traffic


Is ‘blog’ the new ‘bubble’, ready to blow out? According to the metaphor used in ‘Blogged’, an interactive installation by Bill Shackelford the answer is: yes. This piece of ‘web 2.0 art’ consists of red balloon (a bit less than 2 meters large) blown up using traffic generated by linking blogs during a specific day. Like in a flash mob, Shackelford uses the efficiency of communicating information on the net, exploiting online communities to spread the word and so determining the event success. The installation was opened on Thursday May 31, 2007, live from The Ohio State University Art and Technology show ‘Digescape’. During this 24 hours event Shackelford submitted his link for consideration to a number of blogs, hoping that they would have blogged it including a link back to the Blogged home page. Each visit logged in a MYSQL database, counted one second of compressor-generated air inflation into the balloon. Visitors joined and monitored the balloon status through a live video feed. Schakelford explains that he’s concerned to understand the way things actually are, to determine what is valid and important: “The questions that I find most interesting deal with our place in the natural world and how it has changed over time with technology, invention and human ingenuity”. ‘Blogged’ shows clearly how quickly artwork spread from blog to blog and, simultaneously, how fast the artwork is forgotten the day after. It’s instantaneous joy what the ranking causes. And however blog is where the debate on net art goes on.

Valentina Culatti