Social Fragments

Social Fragments is an interactive installation that asks participants questions, converts the words they use into text and rearranges the fragments to create phrases that are posted to Twitter - @socialfragments

The idea for this work came out of a desire to explore the use of mobile technologies as a platform to build interactive experiences on and use technologies that we use to communicate: mobile phones, voice and social media. In particular I am interested in the failings of technology: system flaws, bugs, glitches and quirks that we’ve become used to in our day-to-day lives. The glitches provide opportunities for us to gain a better understanding of how technology performs. 

How participants speak to the work, the speed of their speech, their accent, or the way words are pronounced affect the speech-to-text process, and helps shape tweets that are unique to the personality of the speaker. Tweets are at times beautiful haiku-like poetry – mistakes that are greater than the sum of the inputs.

It is hoped people who engage with the work will walk away thinking about their interactions with technology – to consider how technology shapes our lives and increasingly provides glimpses of emergent behaviour.

This work was produced as part of a residency program at The Edge in 2012. The software is written in Java using the Android SDK and installed on a Galaxy Nexus S mobile phone. The installation is made using Chroma, a sustainable and environmentally low impact material.

Tweets from the installation can be read at


Special thanks to Adam Hetherington for guidance of the physical design and production of the CAD mockups, Daniel Flood and The Edge for their ongoing support, 3Form for providing materials for this project and Anna Gerber for walking me through some of the programming.