Show off your Twitter logo at the re:publica conference! Collect lots of followers and show how many people you know.
"Don't I know you from Twitter?"
"Ah, It's you! What's your nickname again?"
"Didn't you have another profile photo recently?"
"So? How many followers do you have so far?"
"Haven't the color wars ended yet?"
The project "Follow me!" is a social intervention and group performance for conferences and events connected with the Web. Just as with micro-blogging services such as Twitter, Jaiku or Pownce, the participants of the project interact with each other using the symbols and rules of social web services in real space.
Each participant receives a pin-on button and several stickers of his/her Twitter (or other) profile photo or logo. The button is worn on the shirt, T-shirt, pullover or jacket and enables other conference participants to recognize "Twitter friends". With the small profile stickers, the users themselves can then "register" each other as followers or friends on their clothing. This results in a big who-followed-whom spectacular, totally in Twitter style, with plenty of face-to-face interaction.
An important element in all social web platforms, especially micro-blogging services, is the user's profile logo. The profile photo, which is usually a portrait of the user, has developed into a kind of trademark. When using Twitter and co, each new message posted by a user on the web interface is accompanied by his/her profile photo. Since the users don't necessarily know each other personally, the recurrent image alongside the written messages takes on a central function as an area for interpretation and projection. On this narrow channel of communication a network of acquaintances develops, bringing real connection onto the digital level.
How does the social web influence relationships between people? On which level, the digital or the physical, do people get to meet each other? How do users represent themselves in the network and how are they perceived there?
"Follow me!" took place during the conference re:publica 1.-2.4.2008 Berlin.
Many thanks to Miriam Winkels a.k.a. Vogelwarte for assistance.
Supported by Stiftung Kunstfonds.
Aram Bartholl 2008