“Bring me the sunset in a cup”—Dickinson after Twitter (2012)

“Bring me the sunset in a cup”—Dickinson after Twitter is an installation based on the poetry of Emily Dickinson (1830-1886), from Amherst –Massachusetts USA.

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“Bring me the sunset in a cup”—Dickinson after Twitter, is an installation based on the poetry of Emily Dickinson (1830-1886). Dickinson was a poet from Amherst – Massachusetts (USA), and "Bring me the sunset in a cup" is the title of one of her poems. She wrote near 1800 poems, but fewer than 12 were published during her lifetime. The first poem was published without her permission, and the editors rewrote the subsequent ones according to the aesthetic rules of the time. The extensive use of hyphens and the idiosyncrasy of the vocabulary found in her manuscripts make her poetry very distinct. Dickinson created freely not worrying about the dictating rules. Supposedly suffering from agoraphobia, Dickinson spent almost her entire life confined to her home. The compulsion to isolation from the outside world motivated the concept for this installation. As she struggled to hide herself from others, the social network Twitter couldn’t be more self-expositive. Through Twitter contributors the world over participate in the elaboration of Dickinson’s poetry to show it in a way unthinkable to Dickinson. When someone writes a message on Twitter (s)he may be unwittingly participating in the elaboration of Dickinson's poems. In the installation "Bring me the sunset in a cup"—Dickinson after Twitter, an algorithm searches to match the words found in tweets with the words of Dickinson's poems. To every word found it attaches the name of the contributor, time, date, and place. The process is cyclical and repeats to every poem. If who is at the installation knows or wants to look for the next word in the verse, s(he) can write it down in a tweet, and in real-time will be able to see her or his name attached as a contributor, the current time and date, and the place if the location was activated in her or his Twitter account.

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