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Presentation of stipend project

15 March 2011, 19:00 - 15 March 2011, 22:00

Veranstaltungsraum des Edith-Ruß-Hauses
Exhibition from 15. - 20. March 2011

Tai-Wei Kan, scholarship holder in the stipend exchange programme of Edith-Russ-Haus and Digital Art Center, Taipei

As Internet becomes more and more popular and advanced, people want to keep online and share his/her status with friends at any time and any place. Because of this trend, all kinds of websites that provide SNS (Social Networking Services), such as Twitter (a kind of micro blogging service), become very popular rapidly.

However, as more and more social networking users demanding higher immediateness and interaction, using mobile device to send message or to “twitter” their status is still insufficient. Consequently, we start to integrate everyday commodities (such as coffee mug and indoor slippers) with electronic sensors. These reformed commodities or furniture can communicate with computer through wireless channel, so that the system could know the current status of the user. With this configuration, the system would “twitter” what we are doing to the social networking website. For example, when we turn off the light at the living room and get ready to go to bed late at night, the system would send message such as “I am going to bed, good night” automatically because the light is obviously dimmed; or when the user holds his/her mug, the system would send message such as “so thirsty, let’s have a cup of mocha” (as shown in Fig. 1).

During the exhibition, participants can “share own private status” with worldwide friends by just a simply behavior of using these reformed commodities or furniture. On the other hand, participants also can add the “Life Twitter” (our work) as a friend in Twitter website, and therefore they can “monitor” everything in the exhibition space anytime anywhere.

In summary, this project proposes a system which can send message to the social website automatically based on user behaviors. Technically speaking, this project is an experiment that we carried out for “heavy user of SNS”. During the experiment, we found out that sometimes some unknown factors would lead to the erroneous judgment of micro-controller, and then the system would “twitter” something that the user does not do. Interestingly, when the user knows that something he/she does not do has been “twittered” by the system, he/she would follow the “twittered” content and actually do it; thus, it always confuses us - whether the user is controlling the system, or the system is changing the user's behavior. The above-mentioned situation does not happen often, but it motivates us to consider the problem of privacy. When the reformed commodities distributing over our environment, what would happen if the status of the people who are unaware of such a configuration is broadcasted to the Internet. Or, would the living style of people who know the fact be changed? It is likely that Life Twitter would become Life Changer, and this is the issue that we need to pay attention to.
Edith-Russ-Haus for Media Art, Katharinenstraße 23, D-26121 Oldenburg, Tel.: +49(0)441/235-3208, Fax.: +49(0)441/235-2161
Opening Hours: Tuesday - Friday 14:00 -18:00, Saturday - Sunday 11:00 - 18:00, Monday closed
Ein Ausstellungshaus der
Stadt Oldenburg