If we included vocab tests with our night school meetings I would put hashtag on the next quiz. I have not oriented myself fully to the world of twitter so this word was a new one for me. Thanks to Creative Time and David Horvitz we were able to not only learn the word but to participate in an exciting and decidedly epic project (I realize we have beat that word to death). According to Creative Time’s newsletter:
Creative Time Tweets continues on June 17 with a project by artist David Horvitz entitled #VadeMecum (5992. I Will, with Pleasure, Take Letters for You). The project will explore the history of electronic communication, starting with the invention of the telegraph in the 19th century, which made it possible to deliver information across spatial distances without the aid of messengers. This development paved the way for Twitter, among other modern communication technologies. But what was lost in the radical collapse of the message’s physical journey?
To explore this question, Horvitz (@davidhorvitz
) will produce a hard copy of every tweet containing the hashtag #VadeMecum (the phrase is Latin for “go with me” and denotes a reference book designed to be carried). On June 24, he will carry the materialized tweets by train from San Francisco to Washington, DC, following the route of the first transcontinental telegram, and then submit the collection to the Library of Congress.
During the trip, Horvitz will tweet his observations and reflections on the journey, as well as on the history of communication technologies, by sampling from A.C. Baldwin’s 1853 book The Traveler’s Vade Mecum
, which contains 8,466 prefabricated sentences intended to aid travelers in sending letters home by telegraph. The sentences each carry a four-digit code that allowed writers to construct longer messages within the limited information capacity of the then-new medium.
View and participate in the project by using the hashtag #VadeMecum. Tweet a message to be given a journey between Friday, June 17 and Thursday, June 23.
Susan will have to refresh my memory, but I think we said something really creative like “Good luck on your epic adventure. Celebrating epic times at nightschoolatl.org” Ok so maybe under slightly more sober conditions we could have come up with something a little more inspired. To follow David’s journey and all of those tweets click here. I hope it lives up to your epic expectations (just one more time).