“If I wrote you a love letter would you write back?” (And thousands of other questions).
Sound and network installation by Helen Pritchard and Winnie Soon, 2012.
This artwork has been shown in the Microwave International New Media Arts Festival 2012. The exhibition area is rectangular and a white rectangular chair is at the middle of the area. When I first stepped in the exhibition area, a lot of earphones hanged on the wall. The headphones are wireless. Thus, the audience can seat on the white rectangular chair and using the headphone listen the audiotape. While I put on the earphone and listen to the tape, a lot of text message can be heard. When I listened the audio thoroughly, I found that all the content of the audio are about love and some speeches are not human voice. I also found that all of the audio didn’t repeated when I switched to another earphone. The speeches are continuous and non-stop.
It stated that the artwork had used computational code to generate the sound that is about love. The sound that you heard from the earphone was generated by human, non-human and distributed. The speeches are gathered in real-time from social network Twitter and it has encoded to speeches. There are millions of questions collected from this social network Twitter. Those questions are all about Love.
The installation has a several wireless earphone connected to the server via Bluetooth. The sounds are search and gathered in real time by API.
This artwork is interesting by the fact that the artist brings all the questions about love into the exhibition area by audition. The text messages were collected from the social network and instantly converted to audio. The text messages collected are all about “Love”. We see this kind of love message on the social networking website ordinarily, which are very familiar to us. Now it is translated to audio and we can have different feeling about the love messages.
However, when the audience worn the earphone and listen to the speeches, they can heard a lot of words. The speeches were never stopped and played continuously; the audience will not know when the sentence will stop. If they were not concentrated on listening the speeches, they may not know the text message are about love. Because the text message collected haven’t filtered by the artist. Some of the text message may be not about the theme “Love” because the messages are collected from Internet using API. Furthermore, They even don’t know the audio messages are collected from Twitter in real time without reading the artist statement.
There is another artwork in the same exhibition. The artwork is LOVELETTERS_1.0. MUC=RESURRECTION by David Link from 2009. It’s the first generator of love letter. The main idea of this artwork want to express is very similar to the “If I wrote you a love letter would you write back?”. But the way they use to present is different. This artwork presents the love letter in text form. The love message will be represent on a paper. In this artwork, visitors can input their name into the machine. Then, their name will be a part of the love letter. This can increase the interactivity between the work and the users. It is the difference from these two artwork.