Captain Tweet is a modern translation of an old captain's logbook. The original entries were written by Captain Turner in 1819-1820 on board of the HMS Weymouth while traveling from Portsmouth, UK, around the Cape to Algoa Bay in East South Africa. An automated computer script rendered a time-coded transcript into a live twitter feed. The audience could follow the five-month journey entry by entry, at the exact time of writing nearly two centuries ago. They are short, poetic and precise, which lends itself perfectly for the 140 character limit that twitter imposes.
Among Captain Tweet's followers were shipping journals, and ship crew such as Laura Dekker, a 16-year old Dutch girl critically acclaimed for her solo sailing trip around the world.
The HMS Weymouth transported more than 450 settlers who left England to start a life in a new, supposedly better world. The twitter feed gives an overview of their journey, including severe weather conditions, pirate attacks, births, deaths, and daily maintenance such as hoisting sails and stowing away food supplies. With the exception that in this log, the captain seemingly writes messages from 1819 into the present, as if currently happening out at sea.
Captain Tweet was exhibited as a live online feed as part of History Repeats Itself at Roodkapje, Rotterdam, 2011. Original logbook by Captain Turner, transcript by Sue Mackay of Cardiff.