(Please excuse the terrible rendering above, it was meant to be ironically bad, and ended up just being bad).
For anyone who missed the Twitter Jungle idea, which I publicised here before the Great Database Death of 2012 and never put back up, the premise is simple. Simulate the Twitter experience aurally, using a whole bunch of speakers installing into opposable metal vines suspended from the ceiling.
The speakers would read tweets at different volumes (decibels) depending on the volume (number) of retweets each post received. The most popular would be at ground level, where the bigger beats of the jungle lie, while less popular ones would be closer to the imaginary canopy.
Each of the vines would be fully opposable, so visitors could move around the space and curate their listening experience, just as they do with their own twitter accounts and who they choose to follow.
The software part of the installation is relatively simple and therefore nearly complete! Twitter’s API makes it easy to gain access to retweeted posts (especially now that they display the number of times the posts has been retreated, rather than just ’50+” as it did previous).
Now I can sort the data by size, and run the tweets into a pre-existing text-to-speech program and split that into different audio channels. This means that, even with the best consumer-level audio outputs, I’m running at around seven speakers per computer. It looks like I might need quite a few computers to run it this way – but I also need quite a few opposable speaker-vines, so one step at a time…