On January 27th, 2011 Egyptian authorities succeeded in shutting down the country’s international Internet access points in response to growing protests. Over one weekend, a group of programmers developed a platform called Speak2Tweet that would allow Egyptians to post their breaking news on Twitter via voicemail despite Internet cuts. The result was thousands of heartfelt messages from Egyptians recording their emotions by phone. A few years later, the revolution is still ongoing, but the messages are no longer accessible to the public. Speak2Tweet composed a unique archive of the collective psyche; as the voices disappeared in the depths of cyberspace, this project brings forth the unique narratives and, in turn, connects them once again to the physical realm. Project Speak2Tweet is a growing archive of experimental films that utilizes Speak2Tweet messages prior to the fall of the Mubarak regime on February 11, 2011 and juxtaposes them with the abandoned structures that represent the long-lasting effects of a corrupt dictatorship. The project interrogates the re-imagining of the urban myth, of visualizing the city from the “personal” perspective through the highly problematic constructs of (un)democratic tools. It explores the emergence of the imagined city from internal monologues and investigates historical narratives via glitches in digital memory. Through the multi-layered spatial relationships, the project attempts to portray the psychology of the urban realm. As the visual archive grows, Project Speak2Tweet changes and transforms to create a space constantly in flux that mimics the hallucination of the inner voice. www.projectspeak2tweet.com
Heba Amin, born 1980 in Cairo, is an Egyptian artist and scholar and, currently, a lecturer in the Media and Computing department at the University of Applied Sciences, Berlin (HTW). She received her MFA at the University of Minnesota, USA and is a recent DAAD (German Academic Exchange) grant recipient and a Rhizome Commissions grant winner. Her artwork and research address themes related to urban planning, mapping, film, and technology. Amin’s scholarly and artistic work has been presented at several conferences, published and exhibited worldwide.
3-channel video installation, color, sound