Do expressions of our digital personae have to begin and end in a series of ones and zeros or can they be articulated as tangible manifestations in the physical world?
The “Social Vibes” project, renders collective human emotional states, mined from the Twitter network, as musical tones on a physical artifact. The physical artifact, known as the ‘Vibe’, presents itself as both sound sculpture and musical instrument. The duality of its personality is directly related to the streams of digital information solicited by the system itself. While it mines Twitter’s Streaming Application Programming Interface (API), it exists as an ambient sound sculpture, evincing the collective emotional state of unsolicited Twitter users, and re-appropriating their current emotional state as a transposition of musical expression. The Vibe subsists as a musical instrument when it is solicited and taken over by a Twitter follower. It can be ‘played’ directly by a Twitter follower, using the same musical mapping, inherent to the system. This affords the user an environment of playfulness, artistic exploration and mischief. The Vibe mimics human characteristics by both enticing people to come and play with it, and deliberating on the current emotional status of the collective, by posting tweets to its own Twitter account, through computer appropriated messages. This fabricated presentation of ‘the self’ within the Vibe, is allegorical of social media users, who’s anonymity is often a platform for re-invention.