Invisible New York Cities — 100 days of nearby tweets

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School of Arts, Design and Architecture | Master's thesis
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Date
2014
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Mcode
Degree programme
Language
en
Pages
129 + 168 + 64
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Abstract
Invisible New York Cities — 100 days of nearby tweets is a web-to-print art project that explores the nature of authorship, publishing, and anonymous New Yorkers through a set of nearby tweets collected in the city for 100 consecutive days in early 2014. I collected my set nearby tweets by saving the first handful of nearby tweets every time I posted a tweet of my own, wherever I was in the city. This allowed me to gather a database consisting of voices from all around the city, each contributing to the collective portrait I was hoping to draw. Twitter and the streets of New York City are similar in nature, both full of strangers and dialogue with little or no context. By examining the whole collective voice, however, I worked to overcome the lack of context and to draw a picture of life in the city as it was in early 2014. While living in New York City I worked at a high-tech startup and spent my free time mostly with educated foreigners or people in the arts—all in close proximity to other New Yorkers whose lives are radically different. This thesis is a humble attempt to break through the filter bubble and to see how the side of New York that is unknown to me lives. The main objectives of this project were to explore 1) how the nature of ephemeral online content changes when it is placed in a physical container and 2) the collective portrait of New Yorkers that I can draw based on their flood of tweets. This thesis consists of three books: a hardcover volume of nearby tweets (the raw data feed), a paperback book of visualizations exploring those tweets (exhibiting patterns and themes found while processing the data), and a paperback book of research, theory, and findings. The final product is a boxed set that contains the aforementioned books and a set of printed photographs taken from the nearby tweets: formless digital ephemera turned into a physical object with edges.
Description
Supervisor
Vuori, Rasmus
Thesis advisor
Fabritius, Maari
Keywords
web-to-print, publishing, urban, visualization, authorship, print-on-demand
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