Downtime

Neri Oxman’s Twitter Feed Is a Stream of Majestic Gobbledygook

 Dr. Neri Oxman speaks onstage at the 2017 Concordia Annual Summit at Grand Hyatt New York.
“Change is the single permanence.”
Riccardo Savi/Getty Images

Since Page Six reported last week that Brad Pitt seems to be following in the footsteps of George Clooney and dating a woman who’s objectively too cool for him, all eyes have been on MIT professor Neri Oxman. From her gravity-defying pile of curls and delightfully bold lipstick to her multiple degrees and museum exhibits, the couple’s apparent disparity in interestingness only makes their mysterious relationship more compelling. Luckily, Oxman has a fairly robust digital footprint to peruse as we wait for more details of this “professional friendship,” including a TED Talk that’s been viewed more than one million times and a MIT lab where she practices in a field she literally made up herself. But besides her silkworm fueled design project, the most captivating—and strange—digital breadcrumb of Oxman’s life may be her Twitter. Which is to say, a stream of esoteric maxims coined by none other than Oxman herself. For instance:

Also:

And:

As I scrolled through multiple years’ worth of Oxioms, I couldn’t help but wonder what it must be like to work at MIT alongside this real-life magical realism bot.

“Neri, will you please write the department newsletter?”

Neri [reclines in black bodysuit, never breaking eye contact]:

“Dr. Oxman, we need to submit a new set of assessment standards to the university, could you be on the committee?”

Neri:

“Prof. Oxman, I’m going to miss class today because I have food poisoning.”

Neri:

“We need you to sit on a panel at this conference.”

Neri:

What can we make of the fact that Oxman’s Twitter makes it seem like she fancies herself some kind of material-ecologist Maya Angelou? Is she…serious? Do the words “caring is the opposite of passing time” eventually begin to make sense if you stare at them enough? One can only hope that her conversations with Pitt consist mostly of him asking what she wants for dinner and Oxman responding: “An open heart is a more advanced human technology than a thick skin.”

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