I am Printer
Some arty news from K3, Malmo University, Sweden. Three of the students at the Master course in Interaction Design (Scott, Baris and Marcus), in collaboration with the Swedish poet Pär Thörn, created the interactive art installation “I am the poet”. A machine and event dedicated to gather twitter messages including the words “I am” and print them in an endless paper role. They used Arduino to hack an office printer and produce the stream of thoughts in real time.
This project was better explained by the authors themselves:
“I am” printer is a label printer that has been hacked to print a continuous stream of poem by editing the latest twitter feeds that include the phrase “I am” [...] Continuous and automatic printing of the verses, much like a ticker tape, emphasizes the mechanical editing of the poem. Text of the poem is constantly regenerated using algorithms that control the printer.
The work has been displayed in Galleri 21, Malmö together with a projection from Marcus and the web application I am developed by Scott. During the exhibition some 80 verses have been generated, printed and later handed out to visitors. Together with other works, the poem is a piece of cultural magazine Pequod’s 2011 April issue.
Besides the student work, Magnus Sjöholm ha written an article about the process that originated this project. He interviewed Erling Björgvinsson, a post-doc at the Medea Research Studio, and professor at the mentioned Masters’ program.
Pär Thörn came up with some ideas and the students began to develop them. They explored digital flows and wrote software and code that made queries for sentences starting with “I am”. Google, the first choice, turned out to be too limiting. Twitter worked better, but if you create poetry with the same speed as the world tweets “I am …”, it would become completely unreadable. A certain percentage of tweets had to be skipped to slow the pace. In addition, we excluded all retweets, all links, and names.
If you want to know more about this project, you should check the following references:
- http://medea.mah.se/2012/01/i-am-and-other-global-twitteralities/ –> the English version of Malmo University Press academic journal explaining the story and interviewing Erling
- http://www.brssrm.com/i-am-printer/ –> Baris website showing some nice pictures of I am Printer
- http://iampoem.net/ –> the never ending twitter poetry
- http://pequod.nu/2011/04/par-thorn-i-am/ –> the page where Pär, the poet with the idea, explains the concept (in Swedish)