Project Description


#CarbonFeed directly challenges the popular notion that virtuality is disconnected from reality.  Through sonifying Twitter feeds and correlating individual tweets with a physical data visualization, artists John Park and  Jon Bellona invite viewers to hear and see the environmental cost of online behavior and its supportive physical infrastructure. Based on a set of search terms, live tweets are ‘heard’ by CarbonFeed and the CO2 equivalent produced by that tweet is generated as visible gas and sonified through electronic sound.

Project Details

Medium: Custom circuitry (Arduino), gas solenoids, acrylic tubes, silent air compressor, water, LCD screens.

Circuitry and installation design by John Park.
Audio & communications by Jon Bellona.

Tweets, like any form of social media, generates carbon. Research suggests that posting a single tweet generates .02 grams of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e), the amount of air you could hold in the cheek of your mouth. Though this sounds like a minuscule amount, with an estimated 200 billion tweets posted per year globally, the carbon adds up.

Twitter is the lightest-footprint form of digital media available, with video sharing being the most costly. This project is less about implicating any one platform and more about pointing out the weight of our everyday digital lifestyle.

Show Record:

  • Electro-Acoustic Barn Dance Oct. 3, 2015. University of Mary Washington, Fredericksburg, VA. Adapted for interactive video-work, Carbonfeed was presented as a six minute concert piece.
  • Kyma International Sound Symposium (KISS) Aug. 10, 2015. Bozeman, MT. Carbonfeed was adapted into a performance piece for the Soundproof Ensemble.
  • Bowdoin College Library, Apr. 10 – May 10, 2015. Brunswick, ME. Installed at the library in the main lobby. Over the month, the installation space saw 20,000 visitors.
  • Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the US (SEAMUS) Mar. 26-28, 2015. Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA. Installed for the SEAMUS music conference at the Moss Arts Center.
  • Eyewash Festival, Feb. 10, 2015. Dartmouth College. Adapted for interactive video-work, Carbonfeed was presented as a six minute concert piece.
  • Zerospace, Dec. 6, 2015. OpenGrounds at University of Virginia. Adapted for interactive video-work, Carbonfeed was presented as a ten minute concert piece.
  • Hamilton College Studio Arts Opening Ceremony. Oct. 10-11, 2014. Clinton, NY. Installed at the Kennedy Studio Arts Opening Weekend at Hamilton College.
  • University of Virginia Music Library. Aug. 29 – Sept. 26, 2015. Charlottesville, VA. Initial installation at the University of Virginia. Concurrent audio and visual installations were also housed in the Science, Clemons, and Fine Arts libraries.

#Carbonfeed is by John Park and Jon Bellona, with contributions by David Bellona. The project has been made possible through an OpenGrounds Art & Environmental Action Scholarship, funded by the Jefferson Trust.

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