5 Unforgettable Art Projects That Use Twitter

Whoever said Twitter was all fun and games was absolutely right. Check out these five art projects inspired by Twitter.

Leave it to the artists to translate new technology into a new expressive form. With the innovation of social media, creative types are engaging with sites like Twitter and Facebook in interesting ways. Who said you have to log onto Twitter just to share your random thoughts with the world? These artists exemplify that Twitter is loaded with creative potential, you just have to think outside the tweet box. Here’s my list of the top five Twitter-inspired projects.

1. Chalkbot (Pictured Above). The Chalkbot – literally a gigantic, zamboni-like robot – reads tweets from @chalkbot’s twitter feed and reprints them, word for word, on the streets in chalk.  The project was funded by Nike’s agencey, W+K. Just got to @chalkbot on Twitter and you’re on your way to sharing your words of wisdom and inspiration with the world.

2. Twart: The name says it all. Twart (“Twitter” + “Art”) combines tweets with images, browsing your text and sifting through Flickr for the perfect image to match. The combination is visual poetry, or at least provides visual to your Twitter poetry. Simply input your text into the box and click “go” and suddenly your words are rendered visually, creating a social media conversation between pictures and words.

3. “$#*! My Dad Says” : An entire TV show based around the tweets of Samuel Halpern, a retired San Deago Doctor. The Twitter account was started by Halpern’s 30-year old son, who quickly gained 2-million followers after tweeting his father’s hilarious tongue-and-cheek comments. The new sitcom stars William Shatner and won the People’s Choice Award for best new comedy in January.
4. Pa++ern: Created by designers Daito Manabe and Motoi Ishibashi, this project features and embroidery machine that translates tweets into code, converting the 140 characters or less into a design which is then printed onto t-shirts so participants can literally wear their words. The tweets were sent in from all over the world and printed instantly as a part of an interactive installation art piece atWalker’s Point Centre, an art galleryy in Milwaukee.

5. @MayorEmanuel.

If you didn’t get a chance to catch this man on The Colbert Report this week, you should download the interview. He’s fabulous, and wildly brilliant. His is more of asocial media experiment than an art project per-say, but it’s equally as enthralling.

Dan Sinker, a professor of journalism at Columbia College in Chicago, created a Twitter account under the name @MayorEmanuel. This was, of course, at the same time Mayor Emanuel was actually running for mayor of Chicago. The fake account, puppeteered by Sinker, gained more than a thousand followers overnight, and quickly excelled the number of followers that the real mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Sinker sustained his audience by telling a layered narrative involving five fantastical characters, including duck named Quaxelrod and a dog named Hambone. Sinker has been asked to cease and desist, though there’s buzz that his tweets will be printed in a new book to come out this summer.