The sound of bubbles burbling up the tall glass tubes at the Hawthorne-Longfellow Library periodically disrupt the quiet environment of the library’s first floor. The release of the bubbles is prompted by people sending tweets with particular hashtags.
The art-and-sound installation is programmed to respond to a variety of tweets, such as #Obama, #ClimateChange, #Bowdoin, #BlackLivesMatter and a scattering of pop culture references.The installation also emits a sound based on the length of the tweet.
The intention of the #CarbonFeed project, designed by artists John Park and Jon Bellona, is to prompt viewers to consider their digital carbon footprint. It will be on view at the H-L Library through May 13. The artists say they want to give tweets this kind of physical presence to help people connect their online behavior with the physical environment.
Twitter is just one small example of online activity, and the artists ultimately hope to raise awareness about the environmental impact from data centers and the larger physical infrastructure that supports online behavior.