Remember Fail Whale? It might be hard to recall now that Twitter is a public company with a $34.7 billion market cap, but a few years ago, the site had frequent outages as it struggled to scale up. The appearance of a placid-looking white whale borne aloft by eight birds was source of irritation and amusement for Twitter’s users, and the image by artist Yiying Lu quickly became iconic.
Twitter survived, of course, and now Lu has created a set of Matryoshka Dolls that pay homage to the “five personalities behind Twitter that have become mythic archetypes in public imagination.” The set’s Kickstarter page just went live and if it reaches its $30,000 funding goal by Feb. 20, you can cradle Noah Glass, Biz Stone, Jack Dorsey, Ev Williams, and Dick Costolo within a mother doll that represents all Twitter users.
Called Nesting Twitter, the set was conceptualized by a team called the Department of Reckless Abandon (DoRA). Though the dolls are not officially affiliated with Twitter, members of DoRA are friends with several of the company’s founders. In fact, Thor Muller, DoRA’s founder, is also one of the co-founders of Valleyschwag, which hosted the party where the site, then called Twittr, was unveiled back in 2006.
Nesting Twitter “tells the story of Twitter’s growth by nesting its founders inside one another.” Like any work of art, the set is open to interpretation. As its Kickstarter page puts it:
“Depending on your angle, you’ll see the doll as reflective, snarky, revolutionary or traditional. This Matryoshka Doll really does contain multitudes. The rear of the doll reveals a bird cradling a miniature of itself, a paradoxical twist that should get you thinking about the meaning of it all. Who is supporting whom in this complicated web of relationships?”
Even if your reaction to Nesting Twitter is one of pure, unmitigated revolutionary snarky horror, the project is a good chance to check out other pieces by Lu, who is based in Sydney, Australia. Her portfolio of interactive art includes QR codes turned into lush watercolor paintings.
The Nesting Twitter set’s early bird price is $60 and its artwork is also available as stickers or limited edition prints. The dolls are scheduled to ship in March if the project is successfully funded.