Celestial Bodies

3D Printed Bell Lights Up When #God is Mentioned on Twitter


#God is watching. Artist converts tweets about all-seeing space wizard into art exhibit using a 3D printed lamp and Raspberry Pi.

…And New York artist Diego Zaks proclaimed, “let there be light…!”

Well, that’s the idea behind #God, an intriguing crossover between social media and additive manufacturing. Part of the Conceived Without Sin show in New York City last October, Zaks installed a 3D printed lamp in the shape of a bell above a digital display.

Every time someone tweeted using the hashtag #God, the bell “rang” with light. The hashtag is used so frequently that roughly every two seconds, the #God bell was activated. According to Zaks:

“The idea is to visualize the contrast between the sanctity and historical representation of the word ‘God’ and the way we are exposed to it on a daily basis in social channels and its new associations.”

Divine inspiration on Twitter (Image: Diego Zaks)

Are You There, #God? It’s Me, Twitter

But what do those tweets really say? By hooking the 3D printed lamp up to a Raspberry Pi, #God doesn’t just light up, it also displays the associated tweet on the digital screen.

The installation has shared all kinds of tweets, ranging from genuine shout outs to the holy deity, to insults targeting Hillary Clinton supporters, and a whole lot of inspirational messages.

These seemingly random tweets captured exactly what Zaks has hoped to portray. He didn’t just show how people thought about the word ‘God,’ but how they actually used it.

The light also changed depending on who actually made the tweet. The more followers the Twitter user has, the longer and brighter it shines, making it clear just how powerful that particular user and their use of the word is.

Zaks needed a little help from his followers to pay for the cost of printing the bell, and used a GoFundMe campaign to make the project a reality. After funding, the bell was fabricated and adorned to reflect the abstract decorations of a mosque.

It seems #God is really looking out for the young artist.

#God Lights Up the room