How do currents develop? How do we not lose stuff?
Where does everything go?
Artist Lanfranco Asceti gave a charming presentation on how, when we are creating a record in the flow of information through digital behaviour, we create the potential for conflicts with ‘real life’.
Lanfranco uses a transmedia artistic approach to investigate the intersections (or not) between the digital world and the real world.
His presentation began with a video made as part of his artistic process in seeing how messages are transmitted. “How can we understand the flows of messages?”. He has thrown a message in a bottle to his friend Henry Jenkins, a Professor at MIT, into the sea in Istanbul.
The question is?
Will Henry Jenkins hear about it?
The most compelling image for me is of the bottle being thrown into the harbour and then ‘bouncing’ back out and into the thrower’s hand. Made me think of e-mail bouncing or of servers being repeatedly ‘pinged’.
We are throwing bottles in the sea with a message to Henry Jenkins as well as throwing a message in the sea of the information of social networks on Facebook to see if Henry Jenkins will stumble upon the event online first or will receive the message in a bottle. The object of the game is to see if and how he will find out about the project.
I’ve also been thinking for a while now about ‘where do all the tweets go?’ and what ephemera now means in the Digital Age. And as the ‘digital noise’ in our social media environment increases how do we deal with what is likely to become a decreasing ‘signal to noise’ ratio. I see the development of new kinds of social media tools – ‘inference engines’ that help us to locate what they think we might be interested in. Prioritising our attention will become a key skill in digital engagement. Lanfranco suggests that the issue of voice and the need for a very varied network is important in ensuring that no one voice can speak with unquestioned authority. This will be an interesting and innovative driver of behaviours across the world.
Digital squatting the Googleplex –
artists occupying digital space
Lanfranco is also a ‘Digital Squatter’, running exhibitions on ‘Google’s territory’ in virtual space. Who owns the virtual space? Layering information over Googleplex. He also squatted at Tate Modern and a few others. Just to see what happened. You can find out about it here.
He argues that the ownership of digital space needs thinking about – and talked about how there are dangers in the alerting and reporting of activity in digital sapace, he says
“reporting” over the internet is the moral equivalent of the Stasi
And that we will all be turned into ‘digital informers’ as we monitor our digital ‘neighbours’ through our Net curtains. One to think about that.