With Oscuri I tried to investigate the internet as a design medium (or place). With trying to create a far-fetched secret society I explored what is necessary to get a story living on the internet. The conclusion is that it is quite a bit harder than it looks, but definitely not impossible.
Oscuri is a secret society that is within the Illuminati. Oscuri has empirical evidence for the existence of God and is with this also able to predict the future to a reasonable extent. Think about stock fluctuations and natural disasters. I created a Wikipedia page for this society, or at least tried to, and created a forum post on a conspiracy forum about Oscuri in hope to get some kind of response.
Unfortunately I underestimated the time I needed to create evidence (and I underestimated the amount of evidence I needed). The resulted in a completely unbelievable conspiracy theory and a 24 hour ban from being allowed to post on Wikipedia. Next to this I have gotten no response from anyone on the forum.
I think the main problem in this case was the lack of evidence. I should have posted more things under different names on different kind of sites and all link them to each other. Creating this spider web of enough people saying that they have seen them and similar things, without extremely good evidence. Next to this a photoshop of a “book I found” for instance could have helped.
On the final exhibition I presented my conclusions on a poster next to the draft Wikipedia page. The poster I presented is here:
I want to convince people that this is really a thing. It should be a bit more extreme on our daily life. Maybe involve religion or economy. Something I should decide on is how this society is different from all others. I have real troubles with thinking how far I can take this, my original thought was about a secret group that proofed and used the existence of a god. Maybe, that is too farfetched, but there are probably some internet lunatics out there whom I can convince. I have decided to try.
I will create a fake secret society that proofed the existence of god and uses its existence and knowledge to their own advantage.
I want my project to look like a semi-believable (history channel like) conspiracy group. The evidence produced will (of course) be fake and appear that to most people, yet I hope to convince a few naïve conspiracy fanatics to start believing in this secret group of people. People will encounter my work because I will be posting links over several conspiracy forums to Wikipedia and the website I will air. Everything of my work will be found online. There will be no physical artifacts. It is more about the thought, the little seed being planted in someone’s head that is the final goal.
For my final project I want to tackle a future of religion by posing a question that people have wondered about for ages, yet only few in our class (if any) have taken a look at what the answer to this question would exist.
The question I want to ask is:
What if there was empirical evidence for a god to exist.
This evidence would proof (for the sake of the exercise) that god would have unlimited power and knowledge. God would be immortal and a singular being.
First of all I am not sure whether I understand the event correctly. The articles speak of three day workshop and the website of an afternoon of exhibitions. Though the closely seem related it looks like the event changed dramatically over time it this case.
Emerge: The Future of Choices and Values. Combining artists with engineers to create our future. That is one of the Emerge promotional lines for the Emerge conference 2015 (6th of March). An interesting fact is that the participants of the workshop consisted out of many different professions. Not only the artists and engineers they speak of, not only out of people already having their degree. This large diversity is extremely valuable and to my opinion very limited in current events.
The question often asked, during our class, is how we should convey our ideas to a larger audience. Maybe a more appropriate question to ask is, how to get a larger audience involved in the process. With as many minds come as many propositions. More opinions and more thoughts. It is not for designers to create our future world. It is for designers to guide the audience in creating the future.
What if, instead living our life and posting about on Facebook, we would live our life in order to be able post things to Social Media? What if we did what we do in order to create our image online? What if there was an app to help you to enhance and create your virtual alter ego?
Luckily there is one now! I have designed a mobile application that helps you determining what kind of image you want to have online and after this gives you advice on your postings providing you with all kind of useful feedback. How you are doing, what you should improve and it gives you recommendations on which events to participate in (and of course share) and what status updates you should post.
I started out with regard to value and digital media and this slowly evolved towards this direction. What I tried to convey with this design is the fact that our lives are becoming more and more digital and I am wondering whether there ever will be a point on which our digital life is more important to us as humans than the real life and what kind of influence this would have on our personality.
I guess that one of the biggest influences would be the fact that you can actually make your personality more easily. It is far easier to pretend to be somebody you are not on the internet than it is in real life. Therefore I have incorporated this aspect as well.
This app is definitely a current possibilities and therefore not far-fetched. The main limitations to such an app is society. Since you still meet your friends in real life you cannot (or hardly) fake your personality. Therefore it is simply not effective.
Like most people wrote on their blog I think that Her is not a movie about technology, but rather a movie about relationships between Humans and Technology. I think it is a critical reflection on the way technology will play part in our lives. What I really liked about Her is the fact that they neither created an Utopia nor Dystopia. The most interesting, or at least unexpected, part of the movie was the disappearing of the UI. What the reason or impact for this disappearance was, is not told in the movie. Had the designers made a kill switch if the UI got out of hand? Decided the UI to life a live on their own?
Another interesting aspect, also pointed out in the Wired article, is that technology has become an everyday part of our life. Yet it has also become less intrusive as our current day technology. Whereas many also have pointed out that this the exact opposite of our current day environment (look at time square for example), I think that Her actually could be quite true. When I look around as what interests us a designer, coming from a University of Technology, it becomes clear that this is exactly what we are striving to do. After years of creating technology, thinking it was everything and we should develop it without thinking it changed. We actually realized the immense impact on our social lives, on the environment and on the value we add to things.
I think that Her provides a more realistic future than most of realize. Though the world has become extremely technocratic during the last decade, there is a group of people (Designers) who start to notice that this should change and are designing for this. I am not sure how I feel about this future.