Installation - Who you are is what you get

IDC IIT Bombay India

Information seems to have affected the pace of human evolution. Early humans could remember more information than the modern man. We today live in a world where information is ubiquitous and externalized. With ambient connectivity, this seems to have lead to a reduced information storage in biological memory. Hence, information is ambient. The ease and implementation of search engines has affected the inherent confirmation bias. This leads to a lack of objectivity in the information presented. Through the means of this installation, I intend to show the biased nature of modern pursuit of information. The mirror reflects what a user is and not what maybe true.

Installation Design

The participant cannot interact with the screen in any way. However, the screen and the mirror make the overall design open to interpretation. Some participants may ignore the presence, but some may figure out the true metaphor.The mirror reflects the participant and the search results she expects are filled with ”you may like” items. It is a search that pleases and not enlightens. The search is so personalized that it ’reflects’ your identity. But that metaphor is not a single authoritative interpretation but rather may lead to multiple heterogeneous interpretations as explored by Sengers et. al. The device was exhibited on an office table at the venue. I hope that this artifact can help trigger a sense of uneasiness and encourage the participants to think on issues like privacy and biased nature of information they consume.

In order to present the precious and dear nature of our engagement with search engines, I painted the monitor in gold.

Prototyping

Painting the monitor gold Imgur

Had some help from the paint studio after messing up the first coat. Imgur

Fixing the one way glass Imgur

Checking the reflection Imgur

At the conference Imgur

DSC_3938

A published paper on the same can be read here on page 132.

Cheers,

Rohit