Text Viz was a project that tried to capture the essence of something as vibrant and unique as the student email list at the Interactive Telecommunications Program and translate it into a physical space.
Bulletin boards are a relic of the past, a past when posting a notice on a board was the most efficient way to communicate. The early iterations of the internet heavily depended on conceptual model of the bulletin board as well. People would dial in to post messages and read messages, and that system eventually evolved into newsgroups and forums and so forth. Eventually the evolution of sharing and communicating has lead us to our personalized silos of information.
Unfortunately something has been lost in the process. We've lost a sense of community that bulletin boards offered when people communicated through a centralized physical space. That's where Text Viz comes in. The project is a combination of several available technologies that work in concert to collect text messages, match the messages to a face and name and then display them both online and more importantly on a display program designed to be run at a physical space.