Algorithms are computational formulas that distill user information into relevant data. These formulas determine the information many people consume today, via channels such as search results and social media feeds. Algorithms have no moral obligations programmed into them; they are simply designed to sell you products. Because of the reliance on algorithms and the personalization of content, we are limiting our exposure to views and voices.
Historically, we have had media mediators in the form of editors and publishers. These people were the gatekeepers; whether or not they chose to exercise complex moral decisions, they were capable of it. The algorithms that analyze and curate our information today are morally simplistic. They are hardwired to show us content based on quantity, not quality.
Our biggest challenge was deciding how to communicate these concepts in a way that would get people to think about their involvement within their online communities. After developing several campaign concepts ranging from informational websites, to guerrilla street art movements, we landed on an experiential gallery installation to convey our ideas. This decision was predicated on the idea that effective art poses more questions to the viewer and leaves them with the opportunity to consider a more complex relationship with their use of the internet. We wanted to take advantage of the expectation that a gallery experience provides; namely, it’s not an incidental space, but a destination. With an installation, we could curate the interactions that could get people thinking about the thematic concepts that we had developed.
The main goal of the exhibition is to create an impactful installation in a gallery setting that leaves participants with more questions than answers. We want to be the catalyst for change. During our planning phase we spent time considering the flow of the gallery space, the order in which you got the information, and how we could guide people through the space. Most of our pieces invited participation on the guest’s part. It was extremely important to us that people would engage in the work to provide a more memorable experience.