I personally didn’t see Jonathan Harris at OFFF 2012, so following information is based on info from his own website, articles and interviews.
By combining elements of computer science, anthropology, visual art and storytelling, Jonathan Harris is working with (mostly) online projects that reimagine how we relate to our machines and to each other.
Jonathan Harris is best discribed as a Web Artists, and can not be hired to do companies website or online identity. He pays his bills through grants and lectures, and this gives him a freedom to experiment with his work and push our understanding of “living online”. However, Jonathan can be commissioned to make new work, if the project would be a natural fit with the themes and ideas he already explore in his own work. Examples of some successful collaborations are “I Want You To Want Me” with MoMA and “Time Capsule” made with Yahoo.
The “I Want You To Want Me” project (2008) is an interactive installation at the MoMA museum in New York. Displayed on a 56” touch screen monitor, the piece portrays an interactive sky filled with hundreds of pink (female) and blue (male) balloons, each representing a real person’s online dating profile collected from any one of several dozen Internet dating websites. The viewers can interact with the piece and rearrange the balloons in various ways to highlight different aspects of the world of online dating, as the piece will subtract text and demographic information from the dating profiles.
Video presentation of “I Want You To Want Me”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZUaXDm4qik
More recently, in 2011, Jonathan Harris created “Cowbird” (cowbird.com) that are an online public library of human experiences. Users can tell stories from their lives through text, images, audio and video, so that the knowledge and wisdom we accumulate as individuals may live on as part of the commons, available for this and future generations to look for guidance.
Cowbird is experimenting with a new form of participatory journalism, allowing people from all over the world to collaborate in documenting the “sagas” in our lives. Sagas are things like the Japanese earthquake, the war in Iraq and the Occupy Wall Street Movement – things that touch millions of lives and shape the human history.
A lot of Jonathan’s work is focusing on human feelings and experiences shared online. Jonathan believe that the internet is becoming a planetary meta-organism, that we can shape into a space that we, as humans, want to inhabit. A space that can understand and honor both the individual human and the human collective, just like real life does.
Jonathan believe that we need to make technology more human to effect the way we interact and spend our lives online.
Jonathan does not offer any jobs or internships, and prefer working alone when possible. However, some of his projects has been made in collaboration with other artist.
2005: “Fabrica Fellowship” og 3 Webby Awards
2008: “New Visual Artist” i Print Magazine
2009: “Young Global Leader” af The World Economic Forum
His work has been recognized by AIGA, Ars Electronica and The State of Vermont
His work has been exhibited widely at MoMA (New York), Le Centre Pompidou (Paris), The Victoria & Albert Museum (London), The CAFA Art Museum (Beijing), The Garage Center for Contemporary Arts (Moscow) and The Pace Gallery (New York).