Wednesday, May 20, 2009

DAMage Report Topic - Twitter Art?

I don't know that I would go so far as to call Twitter art or even a platform for art... but i'm willing to be convinced. This article was fascinating and provided a view of the twitter phenomenon that I wasn't aware of. I have thought a lot recently about the evolution of language that is resulting from technologies such as texting and twittering. On one level, it appears we are developing a universal language - a massive amount of abbreviated words such as LOL and BRB and <3>

Twitter as performance art?
Twitter is a flood of 140 character shout outs of the minutia of tweets who just want to be heard. What they have to say is often not important - the only important thing is saying it, putting it out there. Verbal aknowledgement of receipt isn't even required. If you have followers then by god, someone somewhere will have heard you... even if it is only your quick note that says "my eye is twitching." The audience is there. And the players are on the stage, laptops and iphones and blackberries flinging out words like pearls before swine. Yeah.... I would say that twitter could conceptually fall into the realm of performance art.

What makes it different than some of the other "social" platforms?
"(There is) a primary difference between Twitter and, say, texting or Facebook status updates. Both of the latter are based on reciprocity and personal knowledge. Tweets, on the other hand, are one-sided -- sent out to people you may not know, with the goal of attracting more people you may not know. "It's more of a performance," Allen says."

Twitter as LITERATURE?
A twitter novel? Now that is taking flash fiction to a new level. From the article:"Writer Matt Richtel recently tweeted an entire novel (a "twiller," he called it) about a guy who wakes up with amnesia and begins to think that he might have committed murder. Its brief installments read like disjointed interior monologues, peppered with the misspellings common in real tweets (sorry, Oscar de la Renta!): "back to blond. inhale her oscar de la rente. memory pierces amnesia; saw her once with bloody hands. Where? Jesus. Gin please. Please."
""Every new medium has the potential to be an art form," says Tim O'Reilly, co-author of "The Twitter Book." "It just takes a while for [the medium] to adapt. Why do we think that literature won't change, too?"

"The best twitters are intimacy wrapped in aphorisms topped off with self-deprecation and a dash of ambiguity. They capture individual moments in time, but allude to past and future. They are not memorable quotes so much as they're miniature stories.... if Mark Twain, Dorothy Parker and Oscar Wilde were still alive, they would probably all be on Twitter."

So what is your take on twitter? What do you gain from it? Do you consider it a tool to CREATE? Do you find yourself following the words of others because they ARE creative? Or do you abhor the twitter craze? And do you find yourself using the abbreviated texting language at times when you aren't limited to 140 characters?
Catch me today on the DAMage Report with Johnny Dam, at 2:30pm PST/ 5:30pm EST / 10:30pm GMT


Anonymous said...

Oh, Twitter, how do I loathe thee. I loathe thee to the depth and breadth and height my soul can reach. I loathe your weird crashes, your incomprehensible formatting, your stupid inability to represent some characters and your tedious, slow scrolling - they gnaw at me. Ah, Twitter, my soul writhes with disgust knowing that I have to click on a stupid button to fix inexplicable formatting screw-ups. Twitter I consign thee to the depths of hell, and from the depths of hell I stab at thee...

Paul said...

I am really enjoying Jason Gussman's ongoing twitter poem novel. (fictionalmixtape) I just use to throw links to interesting stuff. And keeping up with what you are up to, Lakota.

billy pilgrim said...

i think twitter is the current opiate of the masses.

hit me over the head with sack of rocks if i ever tweet.

Whitenoise said...

Agreed. Twenty years from now people will look back at Twitter as we now look back on pet rocks.