Twelegram by Caroline Jaine is one of 24 works of art being exhibited in Text & Context in October 2012 in Cambridge. The messages for her twelegrams were sent from Twitter users all over the world using the hashtag #twelegram. You can find the Twelegrams at Cobbles Yard Post Office from 4th October.
The hand delivered telegram was last used in the UK in 1981. For over a century the telegram provided a physical, aesthetic experience by way of a message that could be held in the hand. Like the telegram, the micro-blogging site Twitter is used both formally and informally, and is restricted by word count – which for both has resulted in the development of an abbreviated language. Telegrams were only ever intended for a single recipient – whereas new technology allows people to broadcast their messages to thousands.
By displaying Twelegrams the artists hopes to bridge the gap between the virtual and the real – and bring an off-line, in-person audience to Twitter users – but also an awareness to digitalised communities of the meaning of real-life messages.
Here is what @pk_saima thought!
“Twelegram by Caroline Jaine was a really great idea, and I am just so excited that my Twelegrams have been selected to be part of this art work! The best thing was that I could participate all the way from Pakistan! The concept behind this art work, equating telegrams with tweets, which, unlike other social networks, is restricted to a certain word count, is also very interesting. Looking forward to more such events in the future, which people from all over the world can easily take part in! Thank you to all who made this possible! :)”