matthias gommel
martina haitz
jan zappe

       open letter

<<-- project
<<-- pics

<<-- home << contact

People's messages posted by a robot scribe

Internet users are invited to communicate their concerns. Normally they do so on various internet platforms, but they can't really reach responsible organisations like the government or other official institutions. The installation 'open letter' gives them a voice outside the internet by putting their messages down on paper, publishing the letters in an exhibition and subsequently passing them on to the institution addressed.

'open letter' invites anybody to type a message on the project's web interface. The statement is transmitted to the robot scribe positioned at the exhibition. There, the robot autonomously fulfills its task, writes the text on paper and collects the sheets in the installation’s post box. The letters are then posted on a wall, publicly available to everybody. At the same time a picture of each letter is preserved on the website’s library, where the public can read, comment and discuss the statements. Finally, after the exhibition has finished, the open letters are handed over to the recipient.

The robot serves like a scribe from former times when most people couldn't write. It mediates between two systems, the institutions which are partly closed entities on the one hand, and the internet as a place of communication for everyone on the other. While institutions are operating within well-regulated political structures the web has created a new culture of expression, where primarily young people communicate their preferences, opinions and taste. Here, the exchange of information is multi-directional and feasible for everyone at all times.

'open letter' brings together the contemporary medium of the web with all its virtual dimensions and the traditional medium of a physically written dispatch. It finally encourages active participation in society and its political organisations.


     with the friendly support of: