"Your data structure is so kafkaesque!" - Michael Murtaugh, 2015
In Franz Kafka's The Trial the protagonist finds himself in a grotesque situation. He is in complete helplessness against an opaque bureaucracy.
Mining the Trial is a slightly exaggerated adaptation of this book. Using algorithmic sentiment analysis, a computer linguistics method, all sentences of the book are examined for their apparently positive or negative features and rated on a scale between -1 and +1. In the next step, the entire book is sorted from positive to negative sentences according to this scale. The result is a body of text whose structure was built up through an algorithmic evaluation of its sentiment and whose original narration has been dissolved.
At the moment, Mining the Trial exists in three languages (Chinese, German and English) and two forms: as an online website where users carry out this sentiment-based rearrangement of each individual sentence themselves, and as books, sorted from the positive to the negative content of the sentences and vice-versa.
Mining the Trial started during Cqrrelations, a working session to "explore the world of digital non-relations, desnalysis, blurry categorisations and crummylations in the Big Data that shapes our daily reality and language" that was organised by Brussels-based arts organisation Constant in January 2015.