The Messengers
Interactive Installation watch the video

The Messengers is an interactive installation. It relies on user content to create Twitter influenced mashups. These radomized sentences depict abbreviated communication gone awry and run the gamut from hilarious nonsense to poetry. One fan displays a message inviting the viewer to use their cell phone to text the fan. The fans display the text message and pass it around then a customized program sends the message to Twitter Search and returns with a specified number of Twitter posts. These posts are rearranged to form new sentences that contains some of the words in the original text message.

The letters that make up the words are formed by a single row of LEDS that are embedded in the fan’s blade. The character generation and timing is handled by a small microcontroller located at the center of the fan blade. The viewer/participant sees the words form as the blade spins because of the persistence of vision. The displayed text messages are sent to the fans using Xbee transceivers that also enable the fans to communicate with each other. The fans become a network and as such they have the ability to detect each other’s state as well as passing simple data between them. Harnessing this capability with a custom computer program allows me to control the fans and affect their output in a variety of ways.