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Postgram – A bot for ‘human storytelling’


Created by Sebastian Vargas at ECAL (Bachelor Media & Interaction Design), Postgram is a bot for ‘human storytelling’ that explores issues of public data, privacy and image making using a process of “fair hack” to develop a story narrative. It speculate about the social network behaviour and search for new possibilities for film content.

Using @post.gram instagram account: each time a photo is published, the bot use the geolocalisation data to seek for someone living around using a public directory. Once someone is found, is automatically added as a new contact in Sebastian’s phone and then sends him/her a printed postcard of the image. New contacts are then called to notify them about the postcard and a proposal to meet and film the encounter. The meeting is filmed, stories told, narratives discovered. See project page for full videos.

Postgram is based in a performatic logic of software, a mush up of different applications and online services. It uses OS X automator to detect if a new photo is transferred via dropbox. When this happens it opens the Sikuli: where the master software is written containing all automatisation instructions. Sikuli automates anything onscreen via image recognition (computer vision) to identify and control GUI components and to connect impossible workflows to make them work together. Postgram also uses python in order to get the coordinate data of each instagram picture. And finally web technologies to publish the content online.

Project Page | Sebastian Vargas

Project by ECAL/Sebastian Vargas
Tutors: Alain Bellet, Cyril Diagne, Gael Hugo, Christophe Guignard, Vincent Jacquier
Assistants : Matthieu Minguet, Laura Perrenoud, Tibor Udvari
ECAL / University of Art and Design, Lausanne Switzerland