The digital picture of Dorian Gray

In this last project I would like to focus on the relationship people have with the so-called digital world. How much are we aware of the “virtual-self” that we create day by day and how is our real life moral code projected onto the virtual world? The title obviously refers to the novel by Oscar Wilde, in which the portrait of Dorian represents the digital identity. How do we navigate the web? How do we treat people on online chats? Do we commit piracy online? These are the type of questions at the beginning of the work. What if there could be an object, either it be an individual device or a huge museum installation, which could make us more aware of our digital-self in a humorous yet reflective way. For now, I imagine a sort of picture cabinet, like the ones at the train station which make passport pictures. You enter, sit down, the machine recognizes you and goes through your browser history, social networks history and texts history too, maybe. The machine then prints out your portrait picture, which will be completely true to reality if your digital-self has the same integrity you have in real life. On the contrary, it will be distorted, aged (or any other visual effect), in case you have written nasty words on the blog of a politician, in case you have watched sexual content images, in case you have illegally downloaded the Beatles discography. My assumption is that looking at the distorted picture of yourself you might reflect on your attitude in a more profound way than just being told “Illegal downloading is as bad as robbing an ATM”.

portrait_of_dorian_gray_by_mercuralis

In the end, it is not about the artifact itself: indeed, I would like to learn more about people, and the artifact is a stronger means than just sending out a questionnaire.

If anyone wants to jump on the boat, I would like to work in pair!

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One thought on “The digital picture of Dorian Gray

  1. Pingback: NOT.SO.REAL | Design Fiction 2015

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