We Feel Fine

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We Feel Fine is an interactive website, artwork, and book created by Jonathan Harris and Sep Kamvar that searches the internet every 10 minutes for expressions of human emotion on blogs and then displays the results in several visually-rich dynamic representations.[1][2] Created in 2005 and launched in 2006, We Feel Fine was turned into a book in 2009.[3][4][5]


Sep Kamvar and Jonathan Harris started We Feel Fine in August 2005 as both a data visualization project and an online artwork.[6][7] The site was launched officially on May 8, 2006.[8][9] It has toured regularly and been exhibited as an artwork all over the world since its launch.[10][11] In 2009, Kamvar and Harris took the findings from the four years since they launched the project and turned them into a book called "We Feel Fine: An Almanac of Human Emotion".[5][12][13]

Website and exhibitions[edit]

We Feel Fine is an interactive web-based experience built on top of a data collection engine that scours blog posts every 10 minutes for occurrences of the phrases "I feel" or "I am feeling" and then saves into a database the sentences in which those phrases and any of the 5,000 pre-identified feelings are found.[14][15] The sentences and their attendant feelings are then organized and displayed visually in 6 distinct "movements" called Madness, Murmurs, Montage, Mobs, Metrics, and Mounds.[15][16] Users navigate between the movements in an applet.[17] Kamvar and Harris have made a We Feel Fine API available with the intent of allowing other artists to create pieces about human emotion.[18] The site currently collects approximately 15,000 - 20,000 new feelings every day.[4][19] Since its launch in 2006, We Feel Fine has also been exhibited internationally in galleries, museums, and festivals, including:[10][11]

List of "We Feel Fine" Exhibitions
Location Museum Exhibition Dates
Prague, Czech Republic Laufen Gallery GenArt September 25, 2006 - October 20, 2006[20]
Seoul, Korea Triad New Media Gallery Fabrica: I've Been Waiting For You November 16. 2006 - December 17, 2006[21]
Houston, Texas Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Color Into Light: Selections from the MFAH Collection[22] December 13, 2008 - April 5, 2009[23]
Park City, Utah Sundance Film Festival New Frontiers January 15, 2009 - January 25, 2009[24]
Athens, Greece National Museum of Contemporary Art - Athens Tags, Ties and Affective Spies March 18 to August 31, 2009[25]
Prague, Czech Republic ENTER Festival Tags, Ties and Affective Spies April 18, 2009 - April 25, 2009[25]
London, England Victoria and Albert Museum[26] Decode: Digital Design Sensations[27] December 8, 2009 - April 11, 2010
New York City, New York Ogilvy & Mather New Language May 19, 2010 - October 15, 2010[28]
Morwell, Victoria, Australia Latrobe Regional Gallery We Feel... May 4, 2011 - May 29, 2011[29]
New York, NY Pace/MacGill Gallery Social Media September 16, 2011 - October 15, 2011[30]
Holon, Israel Design Museum Holon Decode: Digital Design Sensations November 18, 2011 - March 10, 2012[31]

The Book[edit]

Kamvar and Harris took the findings from the four years since We Feel Fine was launched in 2006 and turned them into a book called "We Feel Fine: An Almanac of Human Emotion".[5][12][13] It was released on December 1, 2009 by Scribner.[13][32][33] While the website presents the most recent feelings mined by the data collection engine, the book does a deeper statistical analysis of the approximately 12 million feelings collected up to the point of publication.[5][34] Sections of the book are viewable as jpegs on the We Feel Fine website.[12][34]


We Feel Fine, in each of its forms, was received well by the public as well as critics, technology writers, and culture commentators. It has been featured in the New York Times, Wired, NPR, Fast Company, and BBC[2][3][5][17][35] In particular, We Feel Fine was highlighted in a number of "best of" or "Decade in Review" pieces.[2][36][37] The site was praised by Reuters and New York Magazine who referred to it as a "mesmerizing visual experiment" and "astonishing and brilliant."[38][39] From a design and technology perspective, the commentary centered around We Feel Fine as one of the defining examples of the potential for internet-based art and data visualization.[4][34] In 2010, NPR, in its "Cosmos and Culture" feature stated that We Feel Fine "takes the cloud of feeling humans have always unconsciously moved through and makes it explicit, dynamic and global."[35]


  1. ^ Cook, Garth & Sep Kamvar.An Almanac of Internet Emotion. Scientific American. January 26, 2010.
  2. ^ a b c The Decade's 14 Biggest Design Moments. Fast Company. December 28, 2009.
  3. ^ a b Carey, Benedict. Does a Nation's Mood Lurk in its Songs and Blogs?. New York Times. August 3, 2009.
  4. ^ a b c Leberecht, Tim. We Feel Fine. CNET. November 25, 2008.
  5. ^ a b c d e Popova, Maria. The Sum of All Emotions. Wired. December 2, 2009.
  6. ^ Weiler, Lance. Interview with Sep Kamvar. Workbook Project. December 15, 2009.
  7. ^ We Feel Fine FAQ. wefeelfine.org.
  8. ^ We Feel Fine. MetaFilter. May 8, 2006.
  9. ^ We Feel Fine News. wefeelfine.org.
  10. ^ a b News Page. Jonathan Harris Website.
  11. ^ a b List of Exhibitions. kamvar.og.
  12. ^ a b c The Book. wefeelfine.org.
  13. ^ a b c Whelan, Christine. The 10 Most Common Feelings Worldwide. The Huffington Post. December 1, 2009.
  14. ^ If You're Happy and You Know it Write a Blog. Montreal Gazette on canada.com. November 30, 2006.
  15. ^ a b We Feel Fine Methodology. wefeelfine.org.
  16. ^ We Feel Fine Movements. wefeelfine.org.
  17. ^ a b Russell, Kate. Webscape. bbc.co.uk. October 12, 2007.
  18. ^ Driver, Erica. Harvesting Data: What is the Mood of the World?. Smart Data Collective. August 27, 2011.
  19. ^ Interactive Storytelling with Jonathan Harris. pbs.org. August 5, 2011.
  20. ^ Manifesto - GenArt. czechdesign.cz. September 12, 2006.
  21. ^ I've Been Waiting For You. Fabrica Website.
  22. ^ Color into Light: Selections from the MFAH Collection Opens. artdaily.org. Retrieved June 20, 2012.
  23. ^ MFAH Past Exhibitions. MFAH Website.
  24. ^ Archives Page. Sundance Institute.
  25. ^ a b Tag, Ties and Affective Spies. ENTER Festival Website.
  26. ^ DECODE. Victoria & Albert Museum.
  27. ^ NETWORK. Victoria & Albert Museum.
  28. ^ Ogilvy & Mather New York Host "New Language" Art Exhibition. ogilvy.com. May 17, 2010.
  29. ^ Exhibitions Page. Latrobe Gallery Website.
  30. ^ Social Media Press Release. Pace/MacGill Website. August 22, 2011.
  31. ^ Exhibition Info. Design Museum Holon Website.
  32. ^ Nothing More Than Feelings. Daily Candy. December 1, 2009.
  33. ^ Social Data Mining. kamvar.org.
  34. ^ a b c Popova, Maria. We Feel Fine: An Almanac of Human Emotion. Brain Pickings. December 3, 2009.
  35. ^ a b Frank, Adam. The Cloud of Human Feeling. NPR. January 11, 2010.
  36. ^ Kuang, Cliff. Picassos with Pixels: 12 Groundbreaking Pieces of Digital Art. Fast Company. December 7, 2009.
  37. ^ Walker, Alissa. The Decade in Design. GOOD Magazine. December 23, 2009.
  38. ^ Getting Human Feelings on the Web. Reuters. April 2, 2007
  39. ^ The Approval Matrix. New York Magazine. March 18, 2007.

External links[edit]