The Global Anxiety Monitor

The Global Anxiety Monitor, installation @ NiMKE

The Global Anxiety Monitor was a De Geuzen project which had different manifestations from 2007 – 2011. It was brought into distribution by NiMKE, and the work remained online until October 2011 when Google changed the dynamics of its image search, and no longer allowed frames.

The continuation of the project was only possible through the use of Google’s API. Access to the API required users to sign up for an account and agree to Google’s Terms of Service where they can be better monitored, and if necessary, access can be restricted. De Geuzen decided not to adapt the work to fit these requirements. The project is now archived here. 

A multi-screen installation, the Global Anxiety Monitor simultaneously presented various live Google image searches in different languages, including Arabic, Dutch, English, French, Hebrew, Simplified and Traditional Chinese. Querying anxiety buzzwords such as terrorism, conflict, financial crisis and climate change, each language delivered its own unique set of results. The various screens of the installation showed a continuous pulse of visuals and metadata: perspectives from different languages sometimes converge and occasionally conflict. By continually performing timed searches, it becomes evident that query is driven by cultural biases and fed by local concerns. The Global Anxiety Monitor did not archive or document these processes, but rather exposed localized Google worlds we may occupy at any given moment.

The Global Anxiety Monitor @ STUK, Belgium