Ping-Reset by Bart Koppe is an installation where 36 internet routers attached to the ceiling are rebooted when functioning, making an attached object to make a sound, creating an orchestrated symphony generated by ping and reset.
Perhaps one day we will remember Twitter as the peak of exhibitionism on the Internet, a phenomenon that started with blogs and social networks. It is hard to imagine anything more compulsive: Twitter is a community of thousands of people who publish brief messages answering the simple question “what are you doing right now?”. It is a sort of self-imposed big brother, a Babel of self-referential statements (“I’m checking my email”, “I’m buying a computer on eBay”), a massive collective stream of consciousness. On June 16, in Dublin, there are celebrations for the Bloomsday, a day of cultural activities centered on James Joyce’s Ulysses. Among the most important events of that day is the reenactment of day of Leopold Bloom, the odissey of the common man that unravels on the streets of Dublin in a single day. What do the most important novel of the twentieth century and the most extreme platform of web 2.0 have in common? Nothing, or so it was before the last June 16, when Ian Bogost and Ian McCarthy, game designers and non-linear narration researchers, chose Twitter as the stage of a strange online performance. The tenth chapter of Joyce’s Ulysses, that narrates simultaneously the lives of nineteen citizen of Dublin was adapted to microblogging. The original text was broken down into fragments and inserted into a database for a computer program to read and publish as messages on Twitter at the right times, signed with the names of the characters/users. The result is a bizarre short-circuit between time and space units, between high and low culture. Characters from a novel are animated by a machine and their voices mix with those, paradoxically more artificial, of real human beings. The performance, coherently with the pace of that chapter, lasted only an hour, and it probably wasn’t noticed by the users of Twitter, lost as a drop in an ocean of communicating solitudes.