Rap Meets SMS

The artist, Frank Plant, wrote to me to tell me about the new installation, F2T (Free to Talk) he’s created with his colleague, Thomas Charveriat. It’s kind of rap meets sms meets robots! Check out the link here and watch the video.

Viewers interact directly with the artwork by sending it a short text message from their mobile. Once received, the SMS is scanned for frequently used words and, when a match is found, the four elements are activated. The main piece, “Rapper” begins to twist and wave his hand while mouthing a rap based on the message sent, the new lyrics culled from more than 130 different hip hop phrases written by Amsterdam-based lyricist and composer Jim Barnard. The rest of the piece is simultaneously set into motion: “Boom Box” starts flashing and blasting out the song while “Joy Ride” a bouncing low-rider, and “Shake Ass” (looks like it sounds) begins to move, triggered by ambient sound sensors. When the song is finished, a thermal printer spits out a souvenir with the original SMS and the words of the “Rapper”.

Pretty cool!

On a personal note, my 12 year old is disgusted that someone of my age likes Jay Z. Check out the fabulous Collision Course. I also like DJ Dangermouse’s mash up of The Beatles’ White Album and Jay Z’s Black Album – the Grey Album, which EMI are currently trying to ban. They won’t be able to, of course, as it’s on all the file sharing networks. Gotta keep the lawyers busy, I suppose.

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