Skywriter

Skywriter enabled people to anonymously externalise any unanswered questions, secret messages or private thoughts by translating text messages into fleeting bursts of smoke.

Digital communication is becoming increasingly performed; we take pains over every word in the knowledge that even the most fleeting message will linger as an eternal and defining portion of our online identity. At the same time, these social interactions are forensically analysed by autonomous algorithms and artificial intelligences that extrapolate and redefine our public personas.

In contrast, Skywriter offers a way to ask questions or air thoughts that people may not be prepared to ask openly, and in doing so questions how we might begin to imagine communication systems that are slow in their response, ambiguous in their communication of meaning and that reconnect us with our immediate surroundings.

In collaboration with Mark Selby, Matthew Trivett and Jeff Baker: IBI

Commissioned by The Cutting Room as part of the digital arts programme Digital Stage at Nottingham Playhouse.

Skywriter