Tore Knudsen, an interaction designer from Denmark, won this year’s STARTS award for his exhibition work “Project Alias”. He believes that intelligent household is an intelligent helper and friend. But the way in which we wake it up by calling the brand name is perhaps not humanized enough. Will you trust an intelligent device when it becomes part of your family?
In the era of big data, any information may be leaked through the internet. It can be voice or images. Our privacy is at the risk of leakage amid the rows of codes. If you are worried about that, you may try to trust “Project Alias”.
Intelligent products have become tools that bring convenience to people. However, businesses give more weight to profits while consumers are more concerned about security. During such a process, I hope to enable us to have certain control over the products through a visual form, to allow consumers to choose what they do not want others to hear.”
Vladan Joler, Director of Share Foundation and Professor in the New Media Department at University of Novi Sad, exhibited three huge charts this time. With the current scientific and technological development and popularity of intelligent products, we tend to see the surface of the prosperous era without going deep into what it should be like under the surface. Based on Amazon’s intelligent household products, he made an in-depth exploration on the internet architecture behind the products: Exploitation of labor is hidden behind each and every of the products.
Vladan uses charts instead of words because charting was connected with power in old times, when only big empires drew maps. But practically no rulers had ever thought about the work of charting. He hopes to draw a chart that belongs to the exploited through their perspective.
Every inconspicuous node is a link of the exploitation. The exhibition form through charts is more powerful than pure words.
“We often talk about human relationships and the relationships between human and technology. I have added a third factor to be considered in the chart: nature. When human, nature and technology exist concurrently, we’ll find that the contents are vastly different from the previous charts that only consider the relationships between human and technology.”
As a woman, Hasegawa Ai from Japan triggers a series of reproduction-related questions based on today’s social attitudes towards women: Why can’t I have a child by myself? Why does the coupling of two women not lead to reproduction? She attempts to answer those questions through technological simulation. In Impossible Baby, she simulates the appearance of a lesbian couple’s child; in Human x Shark, she likens women to a female shark through biological olfaction.
What exactly does a woman need to do in order to have her own child? It not only relates to technology and is not a question that requires only women to consider. When a woman is able to have her own child, it will represent both technological and social progress.
The project ‘Human x Shark’ originates from one of my dreams or fantasies. I’m asking myself how to have a child. I like diving very much and it reminds me of the relationships between humans and sharks. Are we able to communicate with other species using existing technologies? Whether we use technology or not, we should be able to gain a better understanding of our own species.”