Somestic MediaYear: 2018
Commission: New Talent Residency, Pervasive Media Studio
Collaborators: Vytautas Jankauskas
Shows: V&A Digital Design Weekend 2019, Lux Aeterna ISEA2019
Somestic Media defines a trio of connected objects, retrofitting complex social media interactions within the domestic appliances from the last century. An alarm clock, a radio, and a TV distil and encompass our mundane digisocial dilemmas, from stalking to swipe-right and FOMO.
Each device pulls, processes and displays specific data from major social networks. However, the output of each device only reports its information, depriving the user of the two-way interactions we have grown accustomed to in the digital age. This enforced isolation amplifies and exposes the presumably frictionless communication processes orchestrated by complex social media algorithms. The Somestic Media suite includes:
‘LastSeen’ — an alarm clock that goes off when a person of interest comes back online on Facebook, keeping track of how long ago the target individual was last active on the platform.
‘SoulMate’ — a radio that uses text synthesis to read the profiles of potential romantic partners on Tinder out loud and includes a special “Follow Mode” that can be accessed via a key switch, giving an accurate distance to each of your existing matches, and
‘BreakingViews’ — a television that displays Instagram stories from your feed and keeps track of how many times you have replayed a specific Instagram story.
The saturated display of the collected data conveys the impact social-media has on our perception of time, distance, and priority. Whose online presence do you follow, and why? What information on dating profiles is important, apart from the profile picture? What type of content — news or views — do we prefer and why?
The project was inspired by our own stories and those heard from others about their social media woes. The aim of Somestic Media is to make social media processes, more tangible. As something we take for granted, these silly processes often have huge implications on how we live and socialise. You can find out more about the project here, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your own social media dilemmas.
New Talent Residency, Pervasive Media Studio
V&A Digital Design Weekend 2019, Lux Aeterna ISEA2019