I designed this social networking art experiment in January 2010 as surprise 25th birthday present for my then girlfriend / muse Molly. The experiment itself took months to set up, minutes to launch, and only a couple weeks to fully run it’s course.
Testing the power of network science, mixing in some art & pop culture, and a TV show that has been raising children since 1969. The entire experiment was to be a fun gamble, as it’s potential success or failure was only as good as the science, and the participants involved.
In it’s most basic terms the theory of SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION postulates that you or anybody on the planet is connected to anybody else on the planet by only six handshakes. What was once a urban myth is now turning out to be a new form of science, the science of networks.
The main goal of the project was to test the science. I decided to start with a test group of 88 participants from all walks of life. These are people who either I knew, or Molly and I both knew. If Molly and I both knew them, they would be starting at one degree away from Molly. If only I knew them, they would be starting at two degrees away.
The one target person I wanted all 88 Participants to connect Molly to within 6 Degrees or less is none other than the legendary TV producer Joan Ganz Cooney, co-founder of the Children’s Television Workshop, now known as Sesame Workshop, and creator of Sesame Street.
At the time of the experiment she was 80-years-old and lived in New York City. CLICK HERE TO VIEW THIS ENTIRE EXPERIMENT AND CONCLUSION
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