At Re:Publica 2012, a conference about digital society, the design studio Precious took on the challenge of capturing the social conversation among attendees in a new way. It’s common to see twitter streams captured on large conference display screens but the Precious team re-imagined this practice in analog, creating a twitter wall populated physically.
As twitter filled with hashtags and notes from conversations taking place during the conference, the installation was plastered with paper printed with tweets, alongside their associated images and metadata like the rate of conversation at time of printing.
The Precious team developed the concept from the conference’s theme of “Action!,” inspired by the vision of action as something physical, something worth getting dirty and sweating for. The “actionists” working with Precious went about doing just that, as they hand-plastered the analog prints of otherwise digital data throughout the length of the 3-day conference.
In a world gone obsessively digital we’re starting to see people think about the affordances of materiality that digital cannot offer. Captured particularly well by the Analog Twitterwall are the two notions of longevity and scale, as described by Precious co-founder Christophe Stoll:
It was interesting to see what a quick and transient medium like Twitter feels like when manifested. Since it took about 6 hours to fill the wall, the tweets survived relatively long compared to the usual twitter walls, where they often appear only for a few seconds. The massive wall and the familiar size of DIN A4 sheets also visualized the enormous amount of data far better than an abstract digital representation could. Although these aspects were something we aimed for when developing this installation, we were still surprised about the impact it had on us. Size, in this case, really does matter.
Watch a video detailing the installation below: