'Optimism Skywards' is an installation artwork which intervenes in participants’ twitter messages to the Angel of the North by giving them physical form and firing them skywards in an optimistic attempt to get them closer to the angels. The piece was commissioned as part of dearangel.org
A computer programme checks for new twitter messages (@mentions and direct messages) to the @_dearangel twitter account. When a new message is received, the tweet is automatically printed on to a small piece of paper, dropped into the barrel of an 'air cannon' and fired skywards. It is hoped that the combined impact of the deluge of tweets directed at @_dearangel will cause the ceiling of the bank vault in which the installation is located to be eroded, finally allowing access to the sky.
Optimism Skywards explores the relationship between physical space and the social space of twitter. Physical metaphors underscore the structure and language of twitter (following, direct messaging) and the @_dearangel twitter account has become a destination point for correspondence. Optimism Skywards attempts to fulfil Dear Angel’s function by redirecting tweets a step further towards the angels.