Deqing Sun, Peiqi Su: Plinko Poetry

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    Plinko Poetry


Creation Year:



Artist Statement:

    With the plethora of real-time information and news coming from both commercial news sources and individual broadcasters using the internet and Twitter to get their messages across, we seem to have arrived at a backlog of data chaos that is clamoring for order. Plinko Poetry, by Deqing Sun and Peiqi Su, playfully recontextualizes this heavy onslaught of information. The project gets its name from the game of Plinko, introduced in 1983 on the hit American television game show The Price Is Right. In the original game, contestants climbed a staircase and dropped large chips into a game board fitted with hundreds of pegs. The chips would hit the pegs as they fell, sending them off in different directions until they landed at the bottom of the board into one of several slots assigned with different dollar values.

    Bringing the aesthetic of the original game of Plinko into the digital era, Plinko Poetry retains the chip and pegs convention, but instead of waiting for the chip to drop to the bottom of the board to arrive at a result, the chip creates a poem out of scrolling Twitter feeds on a screen: Each peg hit by the chip stops the Twitter feed on a word, collecting the words into a poem that is printed on a piece of paper and given to the participant. The resulting poem is also live-tweeted to the @PlinkoPoetry Twitter account. The result is a live poetry engine, powered by people, that constantly broadcasts its poems as the installation is used. The installation feeds off of the seemingly useless number of messages that are sent daily by celebrities, political leaders, ordinary citizens, and media outlets. Ultimately, it makes light of the fact that we are living in such an information-rich landscape, from social media to traditional news media, that the amount of data produced daily often outlives its usefulness to the general public.