This project is an exploration into my very complicated relationship with Venezuela.
There exists a humbling dichotomy that contrasts the most extreme beauty with the most brutal and senseless violence, claiming 21,692 lives in 2012. It is a topic that resides deep in my psyche and is in large part responsible for my personality.
The Twitter Murder Machine is an interactive installation made up of three separate narratives that together articulate an overarching narrative.
The concept behind this project is one of very intense love and hate; of extreme promise and extreme resentment. The participant experiences the confusion and discomfort of these opposing forces through three mixed-media narratives, each hand-built and coded specifically created for that narrative.
The first narrative emulates the frequency and normalcy of murders in Venezuela. It consists of a digital 7-segment LED display and an Arduino Microcontroller that count down 24 minutes and select a random Twitter user from Caracas to be “killed” by the machine, totalling 21,692 people after a year of operation.
Programmed using the Arduino IDE
The second part of the machine consists of two speakers, each plays one side of a phone conversation between a man and woman trapped in an endless break-up. It illustrates the deep love and sadness that come from a forced separation, and in my particular case, being forced to leave Venezuela, hating so much of it but still loving it the way I do.
The third narrative consists of a video loop which juxtaposes the extreme beauty and the senseless violence of the country. When a beautiful woman picks out a name from a bowl another icon is added to the overlaid grid; the beautiful woman is Miss Venezuela 2012 and the grid quantifies the dead.
Altogether, these three narratives address the bigger subjects of vulnerability, fear and uncertainty in the face of extreme beauty.