Tuesday, May 1, 2012

the twittering machine

"twittering machine"
The twittering machine (pictured left) was invented in the year 1922 by a man named Paul Klee. To accomplish this feat he used watercolor, pen and ink, and created an oil transfer onto paper. I really don't know what that means, but I'm quite fond of how it worked out. Klee was a prolific artist, and in 1939 - his most prolific of years - he managed to create over 1,200 works. The man could twitter with the best of them.

Last year my favorite filmic collaborator, Austin the Director, suggested I give twittering a rip. I've been at it for a little over five months now, and though I don't yet really know what this means, I'm quite fond of how it's worked out. I have twittered over 256 times, to date, and have not yet lost my enthusiasm.

Still, my impression is that twitters are little soul-hooks, forged in the fires of hell and then flung on spiderline up, up, and up, to barb me in my flesh and slowly, inexorably, drag me back down into the burning darkness of self - tempting me to live, always, within a paper-thin ego-skin.

Twittering is a game where you get one point exactly for each "follower." Followers (And I can scarcely bear to say it) are actual human beings, who have agreed to let you blather endlessly into their pockets, or backpacks, or wherever else they happen to keep their own twittering devices.  In return, they generally ask you to become their follower, and let them return the favor and blabber at you. The point of the game, you might ask? Well, as far as I can tell, the goal of twittering is not the actual blabbering, but rather to accumulate more points than anyone else, ever, so you can feel special.

This is where I run into trouble. I really, really want to feel special - I do. But I was taught that other people are just as special as I am, and so I find it very hard to treat them as though they were just points in a game. If I'm following someone, I feel obliged to actually listen to what they have to say - which is hard to do, since I don't have a portable twittering machine to keep abreast of the unending stream of twits.

Since I want to feel special, I do try to keep my own twitters interesting (see sidebar); but given that I'm not willing to play The Twittering Game as its supposed to be played - with all that reciprocity and point-stalking - I think perhaps I will just not play it at all. Instead, I am thinking that this summer, once I've graduated from being a teacher into being an unemployed artist/writer person, I will use my desk-top twittering machine as a recording device.

Every day, I think, I will try to remember to twitterize the work I've done that day into a 140-character-max journal entry of prolificness.That way, at the end of the year, I can use my twitters as a sort of proof that, no, I did not spend the entire year watching hulu and eating pita chips.

Klee would, I think, be pleased.

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