Poznan Biennale large video [640x360 small version]

Boston Globe Review

Interview discussion about the project (2009)

Ciel Variable 80, Montreal (2008)

Link to the prototype version of Cell Tango

Cell Tango, 2006-2010
Interactive Installation, dimensions variable

Cell Tango is a dynamically evolving collection of cellphone photographs contributed by the general public. The images and accompanying descriptive categories are projected large scale in the gallery and dynamically change as the image database grows over the course of the installation.

The public is invited to send photos taken on their cell phones adding tags to describe the images. These images are organized by a database which uses the images’ tags to search and retrieve other associative images from the online Flickr photo sharing website. The gallery installation consists of 4 animations that groups and presents the images in different ways.

Most recent images in the database are featured on the screen using an algorithm that selectively places large images randomly and then systematically fills in blank spaces with smaller images until most empty screen spaces are filled. [play animation]

places most recent images on the screen with a yellow frame, surrounded by randomly selected images from Flickr that share common tags. [play animation]

features most recent contributions which burst open like fireworks, first with the tags, and then with found Flickr images. [play animation]

All the images in the database are randomly and repeatedly thrown on the screen like the finale of a fireworks display. [play animation]

Exhibition History
The installation “Cell Tango” premiered at the International Society of Electronic Arts (ISEA 2006) annual conference exhibition in San Jose, California in June 2006 under the title “Global Collaborative Visual Mapping Archive”. It was included in “George Legrady”, solo exhibition at the Pari Nadimi Gallery, Toronto (2006); featured in the exhibition “Speculative Data and the Creative Imaginary” curated by Pamela Jennings, National Academy of Sciences Rotunda Gallery, Washington, DC, (2007); Inauguration of the National Theatre Poitiers, organized by Hubertus von Amelunxen, Poitiers, France (2008); “Cell Tango”, curated by Sarah Smarch, Ford Gallery, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, (2008-2009); “Scalable Relations”, curated by Christiane Paul, Beall Center for Art & Technology, UC Irvine (2009), “Cell Tango” Davis Museum and Cultural Center, curated by Jim Olson, Wellesley College, Wellesley (2009). Sonification was added and premiered at the Lawrence Hall of Science, UC Berkeley (May 2010), Poznan Biennale, Poland (fall 2010).

Production Team

George Legrady, concept development, project management, and visualization; Angus Forbes, systems engineer and visualization; Christopher Jette, composition and sonification.


Media Arts & Technology, University of California, Santa Barbara; Canada Council for the Arts Media Arts Award; National Science Foundation IGERT Summer Stipend.