Enquire Within Upon Everybody



Enquire Within Upon Everybody, developed by technologist Andrew Burrell and writer Chris Rodley, is one of the most engaging of the works in The Portals (or perhaps that's because I've been lured too far into the Twittersphere over recent years). Utilising Twitter and a series of algorithms, questions tweeted to a particular hashtag (#enquiresydney) evoke responses from the social media 'hive mind.' While it might take a day for you to personally receive a response to your own tweet, the answer I got back was pretty much on the money. What astounds me is that, as the work is being demo-ed, one of the mothers from the school band event comes over to request that Enquire Within Upon Everybody is no longer displayed on the oversized urban screen. Apparently, some of the text isn't appropriate for a school-age audience. Although, from what I've seen, the most contentious of tweets have been questions about marriage and gender, addressed to Jesus, or about dreams of Julian Assange. Description from the blog ISEA2013, RealTime
Artist Statement
It's a real-time question and answer session which gives audiences the chance to query the Internet collective consciousness on any subject and receive real-time, generative responses. To make it work from a technical point of view, we've needed to define a series of complex (and sometimes simple) algorithms that query online data streams in order to return relevant answers without any intervention from us. Currently we're focused on testing the app that drives the artwork by priming it with questions (if you tweet a question now with the hashtag #enquire Sydney or #enquire Darwin it will be added to the list). We've been finding that the answers given by the digital hive mind offer some glimpses into its emergent personality.
Source of Artist Statement


Rodley, Chris
Burrell, Andrew




Copyright Chris Rodley and Andrew Burrell. The copyright of images posted on the ADELTA Website belongs to third parties and is included on this website by permission from copyright holders. Apart from any use permitted by the Copyright Act 1968 (including fair dealing) the images may not be downloaded, adapted, remixed, printed, emailed, stored in a cache or otherwise reproduced without the written permission from the copyright holder.


Networked new media installation


Twitter/Coding algorithim


Rodley, Chris and Burrell, Andrew, “Enquire Within Upon Everybody,” ADELTA, accessed January 19, 2019, http://scem.ws/items/show/178.