Virtual Identities
Palazzo Strozzi
  Strozzina
       
         

 

 


Metropath(ologies), 2008-2011
Mixed media installation
Courtesy Sociable Media Group - MIT Media Lab

The Sociable Media Group is an art and research collective that investigates issues concerning society and identity in the technologically mediated world. They address such questions as: How do we perceive other people on-line? What does a virtual crowd look like? How do social conventions develop in the networked world? Their emphasis is on design: they build interfaces and installations that explore new forms of social interaction in the mediated world. Originally founded at the MIT Media Lab (Cambridge, MA, USA) by group director Judith Donath, the Sociable Media Group includes researchers and artists Yannick Assogba, Alex Dragulescu and Aaron Zinman.

Sociable Media Group is a research group that through the creation of interfaces and multimedia installations explores the concept of identity and new forms of social interaction in the contemporary world.
Metropath(ologies) is a participatory installation based on complex programming that permits the spatial visualization of information about ourselves that is available online. Upon entering the installation, visitors encounter a computer requesting their names. The programme Personas searches the web for information and attempts to characterize the person, following a predetermined set of categories. However, this procedure does not guarantee an exact identification of the subject in question, as there is a risk of overlaps with people who have the same name. This demonstrates the risk in totally relying on these kinds of tools and searches, thus creating an almost ironic contrast with the programs scientific look and function.
The observer enters then a space that acts as a metaphor for an ephemeral data architecture, in which countless digital fragments are projected. The personal information available on the internet, real-time images of the visitor filmed by surveillance cameras or audio recordings in the exhibition blend to form an ensemble. The visitor becomes part of a total media artwork, in which he or she is present both physically and in the form of a digital shadow. The person's real body regains the centrality that, in the world of dematerialized data, seems ever less present.

    EVAN BADEN
CHRISTOPHER BAKER
NATALIE BOOKCHIN
ROBBIE COOPER
etoy.CORPORATION
NICHOLAS FELTON
LES LIENS INVISIBLES
CHRIS OAKLEY
SOCIABLE MEDIA GROUP
MICHAEL WOLF
Special project: I AM NEDA
Special project: ME 2.0


         
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