#tweetspace (2011) – Anselm Venezian Nehls & Tarik Barri

Anselm Venezian Nehls

Tarik Barri

#tweetspace offers a new, sensory mode of access to the Social Web. Around the clock, all Twitters in German are transformed into abstract sounds and images – in real time, right after being sent. This happens according to a set of rules: different sounds are assigned to #hashtags (thematic keywords), @replies (personal messages), Retweets (forwards) and Trending Topics (dominant themes). The computer automatically works out a unique characteristic sound for every possible subject.

In this way, the up-to-the-minute mood at Twitter and the evolution of nationwide themes of discourse become evident: the initial flare of a message, the rapid spread of its echoes and repeats, and the “basic undertone” of a day marked by a certain theme. #tweetspace is both an interactive audiovisual composition and a scientific sonification and visualization of data, which should facilitate new hypotheses about the underlying information.

Anyone who has a Twitter account can join in live: simply send a Tweet in German with a #hashtag (e.g. #soundart or #tweetspace) and look and see what happens. The transformation occurs within seconds.


Sound sequence: Anselm Venezian Nehls & Tarik Barri, #tweetscapes

Abb.: © ZKM | Karlsruhe, Foto: Steffen Harms