Morse Code “Tweets” on Sina Weibo

Morse Code “Tweets” on Sina Weibo

Morse Code “Tweets” on Sina Weibo
My friends, the telegraph has arrived on Sina Weibo. Remember that Morse code project I did for the Brooklyn Museum a while back? Beijing artist Yang Jian (杨健) discovered it on my web site and as a result started posting Morse code on his Weibo account. I’ve spoken a…

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My friends, the telegraph has arrived on Sina Weibo. Remember that Morse code project I did for the Brooklyn Museum a while back? Beijing artist Yang Jian (杨健) discovered it on my web site and as a result started posting Morse code on his Weibo account.

I’ve spoken a lot about how I’ve been pushed out of this project (and that’s a good thing). I started the commission thinking it would be mine, but in the midst of it, two years ago, the audience took over and started tweeting back to me and to each other in Morse code, eventually leaving me out of the circle. I’ve seen it pop up in Facebook posts and Flickr accounts. This is my first time to see it on Sina Weibo.

This is what I find so cool about social media art–when done right, it leaps from the artist-originator and takes a life of its own, and it adapts as necessary to different media, different languages and different contexts. Social media art presents new opportunities for art to be co-created, co-developed. Why is that? Because the barriers to entry on social media art are much lower. Just as social media in general encourage participation, whether in journalism, filmmaking or politics, so do they encourage more ready audience engagement in art. But it’s not just engagement–it’s taking the project and making it one’s own.

So what did Yang Jian say? Well, normally, I’d just put a link to the Morse code and the translator and let you figure it out, but this time he’s actually posting in Mandarin.

Morse code translation site: http://t.cn/hcobT

It’s not practical for China to make leaps and bounds.

Learning to listen to Morse code.

I spoke with him about it, and he said he’s been looking for something like this. He’s using the translator to improve his listening skills for a video he’s trying to interpret (it apparently contains Morse code). Looking forward to seeing what Yang Jian comes up with.

For more info: Morse Code “Tweets” on Sina Weibo

an xiao studio: the virtual studio of an xiao mina » social media art

Morse Code “Tweets” on Sina Weibo

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