Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Analog Twitter - Type/Life

Twitter has become part of mainstream communications. Everyone from CNN to Shaq uses Twitter to tell the world the latest news. Words like "tweet" have adopted new meanings to conform to this new way of communication, as people try and express their views in 140 characters or less. My project aimed to bring Twitter language, which is stuck in the world of the internet, to the real world. I wanted people to see my analog version of Twitter, and, in passing, write a thought that they might use twitter to record. These are thoughts that would rarely be written down on paper, especially if they used Twitter symbols, such as the "@" to respond to people or the "#" to write about a certain topic.

I began my research by creating a fake twitter account. This account was used to see how different users use twitter to fit their needs, such as political groups, friends, and businesses. Each demographic had a different style of writing. After figuring out who writes what, and what Twitter is primarily used for, I started my project. The Analog Twitter interface is 20 x 12 inches. It was made in illustrator, and mounted on cardboard. Behind it is a roll of paper. People would write thoughts in the text area, and then pull down the paper to create a new "tweet." I found that most of the tweets were inane and stupid quick thoughts that had little or no meaning, much like the real Twitter.

This installation hung in a MICA classroom, and later in a hallway.