seXXXyfish facilitates the presence of living fish in the strange, online “stranger-stage” known as www.chatroulette.com, (a website that pairs random people together for video chats). A webcam streams a live video of the fish tank to chatroulette.com. The position of the fish is then translated to mouse position inside of the Chatroulette chat box. The resulting line drawing is the path of the fish. Chatroulette users who are paired with seXXXyfish can see the fish and the corresponding line drawing, (screenshot below). In some cases users even make the connection between the fish and the drawing. An unexpected outcome of this project is Chatroulette users “flagging” the fish as inappropriate content. As a result, the project is often banned from chatroulette.com (for 24 hours before it can go live again).
My interest in Chatroulette stems from my fascination with “online portals that connect antithetical entities from around the world.” By inserting and amplifying the aesthetics of fish at the site of a Chatroulette exchange, I hope to create the possibility for surprise encounters across a typically human communication platform.
Jessica Ann is an artist from Tulsa, Oklahoma. She currently lives and works in Columbus, Ohio. Her interests span a variety of media, including organic material and living organisms, video, code, electronics, and the Internet. She aggregates these media via eclectic forms that often take shape as kinetic sculptures and interactive installations. The resulting work reflects a desire to understand how and why a life mediated by technology is changing what it means to be a body-in-time.