Throughout 2005, Harrison recorded every sentence that she uttered which contained a swear word. These sentences were uploaded to the online Swear Box at regular intervals over the course of the year, alongside a summary of the reason for the outburst. The work involved in updating the online Swear Box had a similar effect to the more traditional version of the box, in that Harrison only swore on 142 occasions the entire year which was considerably less than the 2,427 she did during her Daily Quantification Records project in 2003.
Project website

Swear Box 2005

Swear Box 2005 was started on 1 January 2005 and lasted for one whole year, ending on 31 December. Throughout the year, Harrison made a note of every single sentence she uttered which contained a swear word. At the end of each week the recorded sentences were deposited into the virtual Swear Box online. As well as the full version of the Swear Box, it is also possible to view each month individually, so that it is easier to read the individual sentences recorded.

Once inside the Swear Box, the sentences are displayed within ‘speech bubbles’ and move randomly as though with minds of their own. When the mouse pointer rolls over a speech bubble it changes to a ‘thought bubble’ describing the incident which caused that particular outburst. It is possible to use the mouse pointer to interact with the speech bubbles and to attempt to drag them away from the others so that they can be read more easily. Be warned: they’re angry, they don’t like being dragged and they’ll do anything they can to escape!

The speed at which a speech bubble moves around the Swear Box is defined by the offensiveness of the swear word it contains. On 17 January 2005 Harrison and her mother created a Subjective Hierarchical Order of Offensiveness for the defined swear words in order to determine their relative speeds. Within the Swear Box the speech bubbles are colour-coded to indicate the month in which they occurred. The ‘monthly colour register’, defined during the project Sneezes 2003, is used. Over the course of the year the Swear Box became crammed full of a whole spectrum of colourful language.

Following Eat 22, Gold Card Adventures and the Daily Quantification Records, Swear Box 2005 was Harrison’s fourth major year-long project. By this time Harrison had begun to develop an interest in the difficulties and less disable side effects of maintaining a project on this scale. So, running concurrently with Swear Box 2005, Harrison produced a monthly diary entry describing her experiences of maintaining the project.

Originally designed in 2005 to be viewed in a 800 × 600 pixel window.

Swear Box 2005 (2005)