Interactive Installation at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art Relies on Texts and Tweets from Audience

Kathy Marmor’s “The Messengers” is on view January 14-March 16 in the Artist Project Space


EUGENE, Ore. -- (January 8, 2014) – “The Messengers,” an interactive installation by Vermont-based artist Kathy Marmor, is on view January 14 – March 16, 2014 in the Artist Project Space at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art. “The Messengers” relies on user content to create Twitter-influenced mash-ups, which are, displayed in dynamic LED lights. The random sentences that result depict abbreviated communication gone awry.


On Wednesday, January 15, at 5:30 p.m., Kathy Marmor will give an artist talk.


“The Messengers” encourages visitor participation to create written communications that vary from hilarious nonsense to poetry. An electrical fan displays a message inviting the viewer to use his/her cell phone to text it. The fan displays the text message, and then a customized program sends the message to Twitter Search and returns with a specified number of Twitter posts. These posts are rearranged to form new sentences that contain some of the words in the original text message.


The letters that make up the words are formed by a single row of LEDs that are embedded in the fan’s blade. The character generation and timing is handled by a small microcontroller located at the center of the fan blade. The viewer/participant sees the words form as the blade spins because of the persistence of vision. The displayed text messages are sent to the fans using Xbee transceivers that also enable the fans to communicate with each other and they become a network with the have the ability to detect each other’s state as well as passing simple data between them.


Kathy Marmor's performances and interactive multimedia installations function as feminist commentaries on modern culture. Her work focuses on the intersections of power, gender, and technology to reveal the psychological and cultural constructions of self-identities.  Marmor has exhibited her work widely in the United States as well as at Ciber@rts in Bilbao, Spain, and New Forms festival in Vancouver, Canada. She has been an artist-in-residence at the Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, New York, and Light Work in Syracuse, New York. Marmor has an MFA in Imaging and Digital Arts from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, where she is currently a professor of art.


The exhibition is made possible by a JSMA Academic Support Grant submitted by Colin Ives, Associate Professor in the Department of Art, to support his courses in Interactive Digital Arts and Emerging Technologies.


About the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art

The University of Oregon's Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art is a premier Pacific Northwest museum for exhibitions and collections of historic and contemporary art based in a major university setting. The mission of the museum is to enhance the University of Oregon’s academic mission and to further the appreciation and enjoyment of the visual arts for the general public.  The JSMA features significant collections galleries devoted to art from China, Japan, Korea, America, Europe and elsewhere as well as changing special exhibition galleries.  The JSMA is one of six museums in the state of Oregon—and the only university museum--accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.


The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art is located on the University of Oregon campus at 1430 Johnson Lane. Museum hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesdays, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays through Sundays. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for senior citizens. Free admission is given to ages 18 and under, JSMA members, college students with ID, and University of Oregon faculty, staff and students. For information, contact the JSMA, 541-346-3027.


About the University of Oregon

The University of Oregon is among the 108 institutions chosen from 4,633 U.S. universities for top-tier designation of "Very High Research Activity" in the 2010 Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. The UO also is one of two Pacific Northwest members of the Association of American Universities.


Contact: Debbie Williamson Smith, JSMA Communications Manager, 541-346-0942,


Links: Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art,