More of What You Want
Digital Alchemy: Future Technology Products Inspired by Diverse Voices in Science Fiction (2020)
Supported by EU Creative Europe Programme of the European Union Grant
A Feral Labs Project
Solo Exhibition at Catch (DK)
More of What You Want is a feedback system that uses eye tracking to gauge attention and respond by automatically adjusting the content that is output to the viewer. The device is based on the media feedback system in The Girl Who Was Plugged In which allows producers to instantly adjust television content based on biofeedback gathered from viewers who are plugged into a sensor array. The system is a compliment to the wetware the story’s main character has implanted in her by an advertising firm so she can mentally fuse with an empty body, allowing her to become a walking, talking advertisement (an example of influencer culture before its time). Because of COVID-19, I elected to make a contactless version of this system which uses gaze tracking over a webcam in lieu of sensors. The result is a realistic technology that automatically adjusts advertising content based on gaze in an to attempt to hold the viewer’s attention.
This project is part of the Digital Alchemy Series.
Digital Alchemy Statement
There has been a long and rich history between science fiction and the development of new technologies. From virtual reality to teleconferencing, science fiction has left its ongoing influence on our present day device-driven world. But technologies are not neutral: they are imbued with the values and interests of their creators.
What are the implications, then, if many of the works of science fiction which we see attributed to modern technologies were penned by white cisgender heteronormative male authors? What are the implications if the same dominant voices are overwhelmingly centered in the design and development of new technology products? Who gets a voice in creating the future and who is excluded?
Future Technology Products explores works of science fiction written by a diverse body of authors including women, LGBQTQAI* folx, and people of color to realize diverse futures through the creation of fictional technologies. Situated at the intersection of product design, speculative fiction, maker culture and intersectional data feminism, the artist selects devices and technologies mentioned within these works and realizes them as interactive product prototypes. The objects will be displayed, in both a physical and virtual exhibition, alongside documentation regarding the process of creating the object based on the fictional text. In this way, the project serves as an homage to the works of diverse voices in science fiction while also exploring the relationship between sci-fi and future technologies that are imbued with and directive of our culture.