Universe was conceived and created by Jonathan Harris, in conjunction with Daylife, whose amazing database of real time global news information powers the project. Universe would not have been possible without the tireless support and encouragement of everyone at Daylife, who have built an environment in which this sort of experimentation is celebrated.

Jonathan Harris

Jonathan Harris is an artist working primarily on the Internet. His work involves the exploration and understanding of humans, on a global scale, through the artifacts they leave behind on the Web. He was awarded a 2004 Fabrica Fellowship ( fabrica.it ), and is the creator of such projects as We Feel Fine ( wefeelfine.org ), which uses large scale blog analysis to study human feelings; Lovelines ( love-lines.org ), which explores the emotional spectrum between love and hate; 10x10 ( tenbyten.org ), which automatically selects the top 100 words and pictures in the world every hour based on what's happening in the news; WordCount ( wordcount.org ), which presents the 88,000 most frequently used English words as a very long sentence; Phylotaxis ( phylotaxis.com ), a study of science and culture; and justcurio.us ( justcurio.us ), an anonymous question and answer system. Most recently, he was commissioned by Yahoo! to create the world's largest time capsule ( timecapsule.yahoo.com ), which was available for one month online, in ten languages. He studied computer science at Princeton University, where his thesis was a system that automatically gathers and clusters similar news articles from a large number of online sources. The winner of two 2005 Webby Awards, Harris' work has also been recognized by AIGA, Ars Electronica, ID Magazine, and the State of Vermont, and has been featured by CNN, Reuters, BBC, The Guardian, USA Today, NPR and Wired. He has lectured at the National Academy of Sciences, the TED Conference, Parson's School of Design, Princeton and Stanford Universities, and at Google. He currently lives in Brooklyn, New York, and works as Design Director of Daylife ( daylife.com ). His website is www.number27.org.


Universe uses global news data from Daylife ( daylife.com ), a service dedicated to the creation of new ways to explore and experience news.

Special thanks...

to Vineet Gupta, for his tireless work on the Daylife API, fulfilling countless last minute requests.

to Ken Ellis, for constant improvements to the quality of Daylife's data.

to Phil Schanely, for help with optimizing queries.

to everyone else at Daylife, for building such an amazing platform, without which a project like Universe would have been impossible.

to Ian Ridpath for his book, Star Tales, which provided essential background information on the orgins and mythology of constellations, and which also provided the wonderful constellation images used in the Statement.

to Joseph Campbell for his book, The Power of Myth, which was a big inspiration for this project.

to Ben Fry and Casey Reas, for their excellent Processing software, which was used to build the Universe interface.