Cuneiform Tweets by Berkay Tuncay
The work contains a selection of tweets which were sent by Kanye West between 2012-2017 and focuses particularly on the subjects such as contemporary art, the definition of art and being an artist. To form a fictional speech, these particular tweets were collected from the total of 997 and written on clay tablets with Sumerian cuneiform writing.
The project compares Sumerian Cuneiform tablets, as they were the first system of writing and an information tool with social media sites such as Twitter where the text can be experienced most commonly in our age. This futile effort of bringing together is rather a transliteration than a translation. It is also a conscious attempt to pertain a historical anachronism.
The journey that began with demigod Gilgamesh’s definition of “reaching the immortality for humankind is to leave a great name behind and to transfer the knowledge to next generations” is continuing it’s evolution nowadays on the internet by the help of the pop-culture-extolled phenomena and leaders with their ‘followers’, ‘tweets’, retweets’ and ‘likes’.
Apart from their stylistic and functional properties, Sumerian tablets which are accepted as the origin of the history, resembles electronic tablets and smart phones which we use to read the ‘text’ extensively in the present day. Given this similarity, the tablets in this work are produced based on the dimensions of iPhone and iPad models produced by Apple.
[Berkay Tuncay edited the following text based on a series of tweets by Kanye West]
“Hi Grammys this is the most important living artist talking. First thing is I’m an artist and as an artist I will express how I feel with no censorship. Stop trying to demonize real artist Stop trying to compromise art.
I’m an artist… the definition of art - or at least my definition - is to be able to see the truth and then express it... I am of service to the world with my art and I just want to serve more. I know so many cool artists whose hearts have been broken by the politics including mine. - I want to help the world and I need help to do it. I am an artist and I care about humanity. on another note... I was thinking about getting an Instagram but only on one condition. no one can ask me or try to tell me what to Instagram... It’s my art...My tweets are a form of contemporary art only compromised by people trying to tell me what to tweet and not to tweet...
In Roman times the artist would contemplate proportions and colors. Now there is only one important color... Green. If I spent my money on my ideas I could not afford to take care of my family. I am in a place that so many artist end up. Power to the people. Power to the artist. Empower the artist and create a more inspired world. Together we stand… we win… the future thinkers win... the artists win... the thinkers win the pure of heart win… we win And I love you like Kanye loves Kanye With love and respect, Kanye West."
Berkay Tuncay was born in 1983 in Istanbul. He studied in the Archaeological Restoration and Conservation Department at Istanbul University, and later at Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University in the Computer Aided Art and Design Department. His artwork has been shown in solo exhibitions at Sanatorium and Gaia Gallery in Istanbul and Display in Berlin. His artwork, "Untitled (Study of Kanye's Tweets no. 2) was shown at Contemporary Istanbul 2021 via Sanatorium. He lives and works in Istanbul.