Launch StarryNight [1024 x 768 resolution]
Launch StarryNight [640 x 480 resolution]
Screengrabs from StarryNight

by Alex Galloway, Mark Tribe & Martin Wattenberg

"The elegant StarryNight interface is both a nod to van Gogh's 19th-century masterpiece and a 21st-century experiment in making the Rhizome community a generator for art."
I.D. Magazine, June, 2001

"StarryNight is the way into an archive of messages held by Rhizome. At a time when the world is looking at the Net and seeing a welter of ballooning stock options, the idea of visualising part of it as a thousand points of light harks back to its early dreams, in which it would take us to a high dimension, and everybody in it would be a star."
Independent on Sunday (London), July 18, 1999

When a new text is read for the first time on the Rhizome website, it appears on StarryNight as a dim star.

Each time a text gets read again—by any Internet user around the world—the corresponding star gets a bit brighter. Over time, the page comes to resemble a starry night sky, with bright stars corresponding to the most popular texts in the database, and dim stars corresponding to less-popular ones.

Dragging the mouse over one of the stars brings up a pop-up list of keywords that the corresponding text shares with other texts. Select a keyword in the pop-up list to draw a constellation linking all the stars that share that keyword.

StarryNight depends on two pieces of original software: a set of Perl scripts that sort texts by keyword and record their individual hits, and a Java applet that filters this information to draw stars and constellations.

Technology used: Perl and Java
Number of stars: 2000
Age of oldest star: February 5th, 1996
New stars added: 5 per week

Exhibition History
I.D. Magazine (Software Applications category Silver medal winner, "2001 I.D. Interactive Media Design Review"), June 2001.
New Museum, New York, November 16 - December 17, 2000.
SIGGRAPH 2000, New Orleans, July 2000.
ZKM (Center for Art and Media), Karlsruhe, Germany, 1999., June, 1999 - present.