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Web Version

Twenty Four Hour News Cycle

The piece is available online or as an installation for three screens (one for each time cycle).

"Twenty Four Hour News Cycle" is an experiment exploring a few ideas about the web, news, and social media/broadcast sources. The project presents decontextualized tweets that contain the word "news", removing them from time and source, allowing people to focus on their often fleeting content. Three cycles are presented: hours, minutes, seconds. Tweets are usually small in length and time, flashing by on a feed for seconds before being overtaken by something new. By freezing "news" tweets for a full minute or hour, viewers are able to contemplate their statements in more depth and more thoroughly than intended, transforming them into profound statements or ridiculous bellowing. These frozen in time statements are juxtaposed against the never ending stream of "news" as it speeds by a post per second.

Twitter has become emblematic of news in 2018. An often indistinguishable mashup of serious journalism, citizen journalism, wild conspiracy, outright fake news, and unreliable sources including official voices like the president of the USA himself. This quagmire of information is exacerbated by its speed. Posts about the "news" fly by thousands per minute, being retweeted and shared regardless of voracity. In fact, establishing the validity of a shared post is near impossible since it will be here and gone in seconds, buried by the volume of posts or by the algorithms of the system itself.

A recent study at the University of Buffalo showed that what we all assumed is empirically true - People share articles without reading them, without checking their provenance or truth. These false positive reinforcement stays in the system, never corrected even when we have evidence to the contrary or our popular culture has moved on to other perspectives. They continue to be shared, and eventually grow into uncontainable messes of conspiracy and falsehood.

"Twenty Four Hour News Cycle" is the first in a series of small experiments to explore the experience of time and technology.