“If you hand a typewriter to a monkey and give it enough time, it will end up writing Hamlet.”
Every year, a select few Pratt Institute grad students are invited to create an art piece for the Wild Rabbit project, sponsored by Hennessy. That year, the campaign was hosted by rapper Nas and culminated in an exhibition at Miami Art Basel.
For my contribution to the gallery, I created a projection that leaned into the general unease around the state of public discourse, especially online, around the time of the 2016 presidential election. Instead of people getting together to spread vitriol and misinformation, I made random strangers on Twitter unknowingly collaborate and create something rather beautiful.
Using the Processing programming language and the Twitter API, I created an app that queried a sequence of tweets to “rewrite” Jack Kerouac’s novel “On the Road,” one word at a time. Imitating the original script for the novel — famously presented as a single scroll of paper — viewers could see one word out of each tweet become the next part of the story like a continuous feed, extracting meaning out of otherwise mostly insipid tweets.