Art, Data and Building Trees from Texts: Tracing The Roots of (x)Tree

Agnes Chavez

When you think of text messaging, art isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. But, where some see texts, others see art. Agnes Chavez is a multi disciplinary artist making SMS in to much more than just text, with the help of creative coder and sound designer, Alessandro Saccoia.

Agnes is a graduate of the California College of Arts working on her latest project, (x)Tree, an exploration of data visualization, and video mapping.

(x)Tree uses algorithms to create a tree-like image as opposed to a realistic interpretation of the tree, by using data from Twitter, SMS messages and added phrases on the topic of saving trees. A visual tree is created until full maturation, then regenerated to begin again. The work focuses on a bigger theme of the value of trees and keeping them safe in the ecosystem. The exhibit is interactive, so users can send SMS, powered by Twilio, and alter the shape and growth of the tree.

(x)Tree is on display until January 6th 2013 at the Albuquerque Museum as part of the ISEA2012 Machine Wilderness exhibit.

“With Twilio I can get people to really feel the excitement,” said Agnes. After trying projects similar to (x)Trees on Twitter, Agnes saw texting as a more inclusive way of communicating as opposed to solely using social platforms. Text messaging allows anyone with a cell phone to participate in the art piece. Anyone in the world can participate by texting in to 505-431-6462.

Interactive art with a purpose reinforces the artist’s message, and leaves the spectator with a lasting impression. We’re honored to support such a cool project, powered by text messages. If you have an interesting art project or venture that utilizes communications we’d love to learn more, email community@twilio.com