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twitter leads, 2016

Twitter Leads is a week-long performance which used a cartographic approach to plot connections between physical and virtual spaces. I used Twitter to crowd-source a driven path beginning in central Kansas; participants online controlled my movements on the open road through their votes and responses to the polls I tweeted. Polls consisted of locations in each of the cardinal directions less my direction of origin to maintain forward movement into new space. I also let twitter choose my participation in mini journeys such as hiking the Canyonlands with strangers, as well as recommend restaurants and site-seeing opportunities. By utilizing social media to relinquish autonomy and anticipation when generating a journey, this project exists as a modern-day nod to the Situationists and happenings, while producing current commentary on the relationship between our existences online and IRL. Twitter Leads reassigned meaning to the places the internet sent me; towns and cities have new associations with the pieces of online interaction that led to their incorporation into the path. Finally, the reach of the internet echo chamber was tested through the presence or lack of patterns in the generated path. I hypothesize my overall western movement can partly be attributed to my politically left-leaning audience at the time, however it could also be credited to the romanticization of western destinations in film and media. After all, which sounds more appealing to the average person: Denver or Des Moines?

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