#Carbonfeed – Sustainability

Art installation: Carbon Emissions for Social Media Using Real-Time Twitter Feeds

A new media installation titled CarbonFeed will visually represent the carbon emissions generated from tweets. The project will convert real-time tweets into music and release each tweet’s carbon equivalent of air into water-filled cylinders. The installations will be on display at the University of Virginia Libraries (Music, Science, Clemons, and Fine Arts Libraries) from Friday August 29 to Friday September 26. The opening ceremony will be held in the Music Library Friday from 3:30 PM – 6:00 PM.

The exhibit features six cylinders, two feet tall, with a capacity of approximately a gallon each. The tweets will be received in real-time and a live feed will be available for students to track the location and number of tweets that are received via #Carboonfeed. The instillation is the project of Jon Bellona a graduate student at UVa studying music and funded by the Art and Environmental Scholarship through the Jefferson Trust. The idea stems from the research conducted by his brother David Bellona on “weighing the cloud”. The research attempts to evaluate the carbon emissions from our everyday online behavior. A tremendous amount of energy infrastructure is required to maintain our digital habits.  Each day, 175 million tweets are sent throughout the world, by 2.4 billion internet users worldwide. One tweet is estimated to generate 0.02 grams of CO2 per tweet; that’s equivalent to 1277 metric tons of CO2 per year.

Jon states that driving one mile is equivalent to 400,000 tweets, but emphasized that though the impact of individual tweets is negligible, the focus of his instillation is to highlight the energy infrastructure that is required for our online activities; which consumes 1.4% of the world’s total energy. He hopes to use music as an entertaining way to bring people together and provide an educational experience that inspires us all to become more aware about the environmental impact of our online behavior. To learn more visit: http://carbonfeed.org/ Tweet: #Carbonfeed