Warren Armstrong

Warren Armstrong hosted by The Virtual Public Art Project

As a result of the constant stream of abbreviated information it fires
at us, some are claiming that the Internet is destroying our ability
to process long-form data like novels and opera. If so, it deserves to
be classified as a disease, but one, like latent toxoplasmosis, which
may actually have positive side effects in certain cases (eg increased
immediate connection with the knowledge and worlds of others). But if
it is a disease, what is its vector of transmission? Is there an
organism responsible; incubated perhaps in the faeces of LOLcats?
Allow me to suggest one possible candidate – the Information Virus
(Notitiaviridae internets). Allow me also to manifest it in the “real
world” so people may finally see and know it…

The Information Virus is an augmented reality work by Australian
artist, Warren Armstrong. It is based around a re-purposed commercial
3D model of an adenovirus. Sequences of public domain images randomly
sourced from Wikimedia Commons flash across its surfaces, giving it
“life”. Onlookers who are intrepid enough to approach and interact
with it are rewarded with a brief random public domain audio dispatch
from the past sourced from LibriVox, Musopen or the Internet Archive.
(To hear the dispatch, the onlooker needs to tap on the virus’s label
then press the “Listen” button.)

The audio recording could be anything from Susan B. Anthony to Dwight
D. Eisenhower; Erik Satie to the theme song from “Duck and Cover”;
Shakespeare to The Sermon on The Mount; Jaywalking to Jonestown. The
Virus will decide what it wants you to hear…

(NB: All necessary precautions were taken when manifesting the
Information Virus. Risks of new forms of infection resulting from
close virtual contact should thus be considered minimal.)

screen capture: Will Pappenheimer

in front of the famous Archive Cafe, iPhone screen capture: Will pappenheimer

orner of Irving and Starr St., screen capture: Will Pappenheimer

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