Tweet Jockey: an ambient play installation using live video feed (2009)

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Tweet Jockey: an ambient play installation using live video feed and Oulipo poetry (2009)

Lauren Fenton, Diego Costa, and I designed Tweet Jockey as part of a Design for Interactivity I class with Tracy Fullerton during my first semester as an iMAP PhD student at USC. It was installed at the Zemeckis Center in the Interactive Media lab and was created using Max MSP/Jitter. Tweet Jockey develops the idea of ambient play and engages users with different layers of interaction, offering them the casual possibilities of becoming performers, VJs, or audience.

Participants freely roam between roles as performer, VJ, and DJ. They may play with an interface that manipulates the live video feeds of other participants who sit down in front of mobile live-video chat stations, recite a live generative feed of real-time tweets from around the world centered on pre-determined themes (such as love, hate, etc.), or roam the space as audience/participant, transforming the classroom into collective club-like space.

As the readers perform anonymous tweets, the VJ manipulates their audio, streaming them in or out, and distorts their image, applying live image processing or mixed images together with a library of animations and prelinger archive stock footage centered on industry vs. nature.

“Dissociated from any original context, this “tweet poetry” is performed to various surreal degrees by any player that wishes to interact with one of three laptops distributed in different rooms. Their image is procedurally composited live with found footage and animation and projected as an immersive panorama in another room. Anyone is free to come up to the Tweet Jockey interface and mix the video feeds, manipulate audio and visual effects to transform the input, in effect acting as the DJ or VJ of the spontaneous performances occurring in the other rooms. A wandering, mobile audience enjoys the show and peripherally engages with the drifting, associative, surprising narrative that emerges from the play of the tweets.” (last paragraph is text from Lauren’s description, well put!)

Untitled from Lauren Fenton on Vimeo.

Lauren’s soundtrack set to Nam June Paik!

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