TweetBot v1.0, 2012
custom software, micro-controllers, sensors, motors, projection, various dimension, installation  5mX5mX3m (WxDxH)
커스텀 소프트웨어, 마이크로컨트롤러, 센서, 모터, 프로젝션, 가변설치


TweetBot v.1 deals with the matter of emotional human conditions in the world of these day’s cybernetic social network service. The anemia of countless web of “friends”, “contacts”, “follower”, or “linked people” in the Social Network space such as Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin,  creates the illusion of the abundance of relationships in our networked life. However, the loneliness inside us never goes away. We constantly wait until someone reaches us. We search whom to chat, and whom to connect with, which sometimes gives us deeper dissatisfaction and loneliness.

For artist Hyun Ju Kim, the emotional status of “being alone or lonely” gets more and more severe and deeper as the human relationship moves the foundation toward digitally networked cyberspace. Away from intimate or physically embodied contact, the interaction of human beings in the Social Network System reminds of the stream of letters and words – poems and typography works – which is very digital & temporal.

The work uses Twitter to reveal the status of this emotional feeling of “cyber-loneliness” using the tweets of unspecified users. The artist also makes the juxtaposition of the digital and temporal representation of Twitter messaging and the very old analogue writing of her own which was written in her three journal books between 1986 to 1995. The viewers and the artist are telematically connected through the Twitter robot which sends tweets to Twitter while interacting with the viewer in the gallery space. Viewers can follow the Twitter account of the work: @tweetbotv1 and get the message generated by the interaction with other viewers even after their visit to the gallery.


Tweetbot v1.0 from Hyun Ju Kim on Vimeo.


The work has four parts: interactive projection on the floor, the Twitter robot, wall installation, and furthermore the interaction between the robot and viewers in Twitter.

First, the custom software of the work searches for tweets in Twitter using the keywords of loneliness, alone – or 고독, 외로움, 홀로 in Korean words.  The very recent 200 tweets from the unspecified users of the Twitter are displayed as a part of video projection in real time, refreshing its search by every 90 seconds.










Viewers who enter the installation of the work can interact with the robot.  Every time when the robot senses the viewers, the robot moves its legs.  If the viewers keep making the robot sense them, it wiggles the entire body and finally sits up to send a tweet. The tweet is generated from the writing of the artist’s journal and is sent to its twitter account, which viewers can follow to read the message even after their visit to the gallery.  Every time when the tweet is sent it is displayed in the projected video with a chime sound. Tweetbot here is a telematic agent which connects the artist, the viewer in the gallery, the unspecified users of the Twitter, the social network space.

The wall installation embodies the temporal and digital representation   of SNS messages and makes them co-exist with the very old analogue writing of the artist.  Thousands of tweets about “loneliness” are printed into small 3M Post-it and are put into wall along with artist’s writing which are also typed and printed in the same way.

Eventually, the work is about the posthuman conditions in the techno-cultural society, and questions the quality of human relationship or its (dis)satisfaction brought by the cybernetic social network system.


TweetBot v.1.0은 역설적 기조로서, 가상의 공간 속에 사이버 인맥들, 지인의 지인들, 결국 현기증이 날 정도로 셀수 없이 많은 “아는 사람들” 속에서 여전히 살아 있는 인간의 감정과 실존의 문제들을 감성적으로 풀어 가고자 한다.

작가에게  “외롭다/고독하다/기다린다” 등의 지극히 인간적인 감정들은  관계의 지형이 점점 가상의 사이버 세계로 옮겨감에 따라서 오히려 더 극심해 보인다.  물리적이고 직접적인 관계를 떠나,  사이버 소셜 네트워크에서의 관계는 한 편의 시와 타이포그래피를 보는것 같다.

작가는 트위터에서 [외로운], [lonely], [고독], [홀로], [waiting alone]등의 키워드로 감정을 표현하는 트윗을 검색하고  최신의 트윗을 관객에게 보여준다. 동시에 트윗봇은 관객과의 조우를 통해 작가가 이미 개인적으로 선별하고 저장해둔 외로움에 관한 시를 한 문장씩 트위터로 띄워 보내고,  작가의 트위터 아이디를 follow하는 관객은 이를 본인의 트위터에서 받아보게 된다.   여기서 트윗봇은 사이버 소셜 네트워크와 관객, 작가, 그리고 스크린을 연결하는 물리적이고 텔레매틱한  매개체이다.



Artistic assistance : Myungsin Kim. JungA Kim, Junho Kim, Seunghae Paik, Seungbum Woo

Supported by Korean German Institute of  Technology

This documentation is taken from ‘Social Art’ exhibition in the Savina Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul, Korea, March 7-April 27, 2012.