Oct. 17, 2012 at 6:32 PM ET
Twitter accounts for animals may be nothing new, but there's usually a human behind them. Not so with @flycolony, which is entirely operated by houseflies. The quality isn't so high, but they make up for it with volume.
Fly Tweet is a project by David Bowen, an artist who has created a number of interesting crossovers between the real world and the online one. The flies live in an acrylic sphere, along with a suspended wireless keyboard. A camera detects when flies land on the keys, and whenever they do, the corresponding letter or symbol is placed in a tweet.
When a fly lands on "Enter," or when 140 characters are accumulated by the diligent insects, the tweet makes its way out into the world:
As you can see, they don't say much worth reading, but that hasn't stopped the account from gaining hundreds of followers. As of today, the colony has produced a massive 71,720 tweets, although they appear to be taking a break at the moment: After posting dozens of times per day for a long time, the only tweet in the last week is a solitary "5." Either the colony is on vacation or the experiment is on hold for a bit.
You can watch a video of the flies in action at Vimeo, but know that it's not particularly exciting. There's a little more information at Bowen's site (including previous fly-powered pieces), and if you're passing through Maribor, Slovenia next month, be sure to stop by the KIBLA Multimedia Centre, where Fly Tweet will be on display.
— via CNET
Devin Coldewey is a contributing writer for NBC News Digital. His personal website is coldewey.cc.