Retweeting

Retweeting was a collaboration between Graham White (Queen Mary University of London) and myself.

We used a large corpus of logged communication in an online community as a musical score to trigger bird sound and live visuals as part of the 2011 QMedia Open Studios event. I used SuperCollider to generate the trigger the sounds, and built a seven speaker installation in the basement of the Electronic Engineering building to diffuse the piece. Graham developed the visualisation, which was triggered in tandem with the sounds.

The program notes for the piece read:

We have a corpus of human communication, recording times, places, and messages for just over a year in the life of a chatroom. This exhibit transforms the data into birdsong: chatroom users become birds, their messages are replaced by appropriate birdsong, and the times between tweets follow the timings of messages in the chatroom. Human communication is very intermittent, and, it seems, always consists of surprisingly long silences interspersed with frantic bursts of communication. Just like birdsong. Listen: we are still forest dwellers.

 



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