Critical Inquiry performed by Candice Weber
A recent portrait of the former Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin brought together images of fluffy clouds, rainbows, cute animals, and a perplexing shot of a Menorah. The artist credited with such a likeness: Portwiture, one of many new Twitter “mash-up” websites creating a portrait of any Twitter-user by mashing up their most frequently tweeted words with images pulled from the popular photo site Flickr. The obnoxiously-named Twyric takes advantage of poets on Twitter to match haiku with Flickr photos. The results are a bit confusing, like seeing a poet “tweet in” beside a bizarre invitation to a two-
However, Twitter’s and Flickr’s ability to unfailingly bombard you with a stream of random images ranging from the sublime to the utterly inappropriate has some major appeal, and the coolest works of Twitter art have tapped into this feature. TimeTweetsfollows the simple format of a clock that updates in real-time with a parade of Twitters by-the-numbers: blasts of birthday wishes, concert dates, and other milestones create an experience that can be a bit humbling, until the quiet 9 o’clock hour is interrupted by mandybaby011’s urgent message about just how beautiful the new (two story!) Forever 21 store is at the mall. Twistori is similarly mesmerizing as it constantly scrolls Tweets containing words like love, hate, and wish (things Twitter folk love: According to Jim, pumpkin spice latte, Craigslist, and the blues. Things Twitter folk hate: their life, you, this song, and the Eastern Hills mall).