World’s Slowest Instant Messenger

The World's slowest Instant Messenger

The World’s slowest Instant Messenger is last work of the Near Future Lab, mainly a two-persons team (Nicolas Nova e Julian Bleecker) which researches, designs and implements technologies directly connected to social pracatices of digital cultures. This prototype of instant messenger is capable, despite of giant speed and bandwidth and the optimization of the internet protocols, of dramatically slow down the communication between sender and receiver. The author admits that it was not so easy to understand how to exploit the network features in order to deliver messages in about 32 hours. What pushed those guys to implement such an idea is a sort of antithetic approach against the dominant technology, the digital version of a slowed-down lifestyle which reminds a rural peaceful rhythm of life. So the messages processing time becomes paradoxically longer, almost following a ‘natural’ life path. In fact the algorhythm which coordinates the message sending is shaped according to certain variables. The user proximity is one of those; the more the device and user are far from each other, the more time the transmission requires. Another variable is the movement; the more the user carries the device, the faster the message will be. The slowest instant messenger is a creation trying, maybe in a reactionary fashion, to change somehow the physiology of the net to see what happens next, to find out if the new boundaries of interaction can also travel through ideological u-turns in order to create something new.

Tony Canonico