Meet MIMMI, Minneapolis’ new mood cloud

Have you ever had a day where it seemed everyone around you was in a bad mood? Or that the whole city was celebrating?

Thanks to a new public art installation, Minneapolitans will be able to determine whether their hunch is correct.

Meet MIMMI, a sort of illuminated “cloud” stationed over the Minneapolis Convention Center Plaza.

MIMMI: Minneapolis Interactive Macro Mood Installation Photo credit: Meet Minneapolis


MIMMI stands for Minneapolis Interactive Macro Mood Installation; it’s the creation of Jack Cochran and Carl Koepcke and INVIVIA design and technology lab.

The three ringed cloud analyzes words from local Twitter feeds to determine whether people are happy or sad or angry. That information is transmitted to a series of LED bulbs.

At night, the city’s mood is reflected in its color; warm colors reflect happiness, while a more negative vibe radiates cool tones. People can check on the cloud via a webcam.

During the day, when it’s hard to see the color of the bulbs, the cloud responds to what’s going on around it.  Implanted with a misting system triggered by motion sensors, the cloud sends down a light rain on people walking by.

Carl Koepcke says  he and Jack Cochran wanted to create a sculpture that took what was happening in the digital world and brought it out into a physical space.

You look at Arab Spring,  demonstrations on Tahrir Square, the Occupy movement – it’s incredible how Twitter and Facebook are transforming our physical spaces.

Cochran adds that the piece is a reflection of how computing devices are invading our physical spaces:

The ubiquity of computing is something that we’re just beginning to get used to. The way that we interact with each is other is changing. This is about seeing the mood of the city through a digital interface, and getting people to interact physically as a result of what’s happening digitally.

MIMMI will be one of the centerpieces of the Secret City Festival, which runs from 6pm – midnight tomorrow evening. Last night MIMMI got its first real test with real weather; it was deflated by the 80mph winds and hail. But after a quick repair the mood cloud is up and functioning again.

Gulgun Kayim, director of Arts, Culture and Creative Economy for the city of Minneapolis, says MIMMI is the first of a series of public art installations meant to inspire people to make better use of the Convention Center Plaza.

We want to make it a gathering area, to engage the community and to help people explore what Minneapolis has to offer . Not many people come here – not locals at least.

MIMMI will hang out over the MCC Plaza until the fall, to be replaced by another interactive piece.