Murmur Study is an installation that examines the rise of micro-messaging technologies such as Twitter and Facebook’s status update. One might describe these messages as a kind of digital small talk. But unlike water-cooler conversations, these fleeting thoughts are accumulated, archived and digitally-indexed by corporations. While the future of these archives remains to be seen, the sheer volume of publicly accessible personal — often emotional — expression should give us pause.

This installation consists of 30 thermal printers that continuously monitor Twitter for new messages containing variations on common emotional utterances. Messages containing hundreds of variations on words such as argh, meh, grrrr, oooo, ewww, and hmph, are printed as an endless waterfall of text accumulating in tangled piles below.

The printed thermal receipt paper is then reused in future projects and exhibitions or recycled.

[Related Project "Hello World!" vimeo.com/1553583]

Murmur study is a collaboration with Márton András Juhász nilseuropa.com and the Kitchen Budapest kibu.hu.

The Murmur Study printers are controlled by Arduinos arduino.cc that receive data from Processing processing.org software.

Project Site: christopherbaker.net/projects/murmur-study/

Videography by Andrea Steudel bit.ly/andrea-steudel
Music - Tarlton - "Bol" tarltonmusic.com

Murmur Study is a commission of Northern Lights’ Art(ists) On the Verge program northern.lights.mn/programs/aov with the generous support of the Jerome Foundation jeromefdn.org. Additional support provided by the McKnight Foundation mcknight.org, the Weisman Art Museum weisman.umn.edu , and the Minneapolis College of Art and Design mcad.edu.

Significant support for creative time and travel provided by the arts.state.mn.us/grants/2009/09_aa_ai.htm Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant Program.

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