Decode: Digital Design Sensations


Decode: Digital Design Sensations

An exhibition at the Victoria & Albert museum, Decode is the exhibition I really, really wish I could have attended to. In its three main themes: Code, Interactivity, and Network, Decode looks at how the lines between art, design, technology and creator are blurred, as the spectator (as user and co-creator) has a very active role, altering some of the works, and participating (networks). This mirrors the reality of how sharing is embedded in design and technology nowadays, from open source code, to interactive installations, sites, and infographics, and even robotics.

The piece Audience, consists of mirrors that through motion tracking, follow the person watching, re-adjusting their position, causing this feeling of you being watched, and them being the audience. I can’t help but wonder, that these subtle actions as an object/machine having human qualities (of observing, and adapting to our movements) all the while reflecting our own image hints at a form of AI. But more than that, it turns the question around of who is being watched, and who is in “control”. All of a sudden one can feel naked by “observed” by the mirrors, even if our logic mind tells us there is no one there.

We feel fine is a site that shows a lot of data in an interactive way, and the data is comprised of people posting their moods, feelings, questions “out in the air” so to speak. In real time, you can see how many females in their 30s are thinking, or what are the thoughts of a lot of people in a specific place, or all over. The difference between this and other social media where everyone seems to post everything that comes to mind (even what they are having for lunch), is the categorization and information of this data, like an interactive, real-time infographic. And most importantly, the greatest thing is that its source, its “raw material” comes from real people, with real thoughts in the here and now, building this network based on sharing emotions and connecting on a massive scale.

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