We've already seen cockroaches turned into unwitting puppets for human overlords, but never have we seen dominance quite so casual as with Brittany Ransom's recent Twitter Roach art project. While part of the exhibition, one of the insects wore a modified RoboRoach backpack with an Arduino add-on that took commands from Twitter: mentions including specific hashtags steered the roach left or right by stimulating its nerves. Yes, that meant the poor roach rarely had the dignity of seeing its master face to face, although there's some consolation in knowing that it wore the backpack for limited periods and had a required 30-second pause between instructions.
As to why Twitter Roach came to be? Ransom tells CNET she imagined the currently dormant project as a reflection of the "overstimulation" us humans encounter in a digital world. We can certainly sympathize given our livelihoods, although its existence makes us nervous about 2013. If we're fighting off remote-controlled insect armies a year from now, we'll have to admit we had fair warning.
Source: Chicago Artists' Coalition