UNDERSTANDING VORN is an artwork in flux. Every five minutes it scours thousands of weblogs, searching for the four most recently posted pictures that begin with the letters 'V', 'O', 'R', 'N'. Every five minutes, UNDERSTANDING VORN changes, filled with fresh words and pictures from the blogosphere.

The chaotic, unpredictable nature of UNDERSTANDING VORN reflects the chaotic, unpredictable nature of VORN Magazine, which invites artists to create work, and then publishes whatever they create, no matter how good, bad, or strange. VORN Magazine is a collage of imagery from a diversity of creative minds, each with its own style, and its own worldview. In the same way, UNDERSTANDING VORN unites unrelated creators: blog writers publishing their pictures and thoughts. When picked by the program, these blog writers experience the artist's 5 minutes of fame, their work shown in the VORN grid. Then, minutes later, their work vanishes, as a new crop is chosen.

The harsh impermanence of this system stands in stark contrast to a magazine, which is obsessed with collecting and archiving. UNDERSTANDING VORN is about experiencing and forgetting, reflecting the transient intangibility of the online reality. From the chaos can emerge extreme ugliness and extreme beauty, but the lack of premeditation makes it all very human. Understanding VORN has seen suicide notes, sex pictures, and love letters, but these poignant moments inevitably get swallowed by time, as the program advances, obsessed with finding what's new.

Currently, UNDERSTANDING VORN culls its data from Flickr, and from over 800,000 LiveJournal weblogs, whose authors are primarily teenagers in the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and Russia. Take their posts for what they are: the spontaneous musings of teens given a platform to speak their minds. The posts are often silly, sometimes sad, sometimes scary, occasionally moving, but always very candid, very real.

> launch understanding vorn

credits

UNDERSTANDING VORN was designed and developed for VORN Magazine, by Jonathan Harris of Number27, during his residency at the FABRICA communication research center in Italy.


You can email Jonathan Harris at: jjh "AT" number27 "DOT" org