Fun project creates computer-generated random headlines scrambled from news feeds which are then printed with traditional techniques and sent via Twitter:
The invention of the printing press is the finest example of how a shift in technology can change the way we communicate. In the 21st century, digital technology has become the defining force shaping society; changing the way we live, interact and consume information.
With the growth of digital media we are now faced with unprecedented levels of data. We find ourselves at a saturation point. By attempting to consume ever more, we end up understanding less. How do we make sense of all the information we consume and not get lost in the process? Through the use of traditional printing techniques we explore this question.
By using live online news feeds we are building a digital application that generates seemingly random headlines; these will then be printed using a custom-built letterpress. The prints will form a growing collection exhibited as part of the installation.
With the Republican and Democratic conventions just around the corner I’m sure we’ll start seeing more and more political parody and mashups. Here, Hugh Atkin has Mitt Romney in an existential conversation with himself about his contradictory positions across a number of issues.
My original concept was to do “Mitt Romney by Terrence Malick” and have a tormented and elliptical monologue from Romney as he walked through the corn fields of Iowa. That ultimately proved to be a bit too sombre and esoteric to have much appeal and I decided that Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself” provided a better frame to explore the same basic idea.
Whitman’s poem seemed particularly apt:
Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.
I tried to have Governor Romney quote those words, but that proved not to be feasible. Nevertheless, I liked the idea of Romney ultimately celebrating his contradictions; that by taking divergent positions and speaking in different voices, Romney represented all of America.
Atkin says his source material comes from “C-SPAN and Fox News online video archives, both of which allow you to search time-indexed transcripts.”
All of this serves to remake Kirby Ferguson’s point with his ‘Everything is a Remix’ series: while established content IP holders like to treat remix as near piracy, mimicry has always existed (good thing) but without attribution (bad thing), especially among Hollywood’s own practitioners.
So let’s move the ball forward. What if instead of considering any of these examples ‘ripoffs’, we treated this imagery (the framing of a shot, the pace of movement) the same way that hip hop treats samples and beats?
If the imagery is effective in conveying a particular thought or emotion, why not allow that as a building block of ‘content’?