SoThi#1: inflated ego (2018), Interactive data-driven installation
The Inflated_ego is the first project of the Social Things series. Social Things are augmented common objects that dynamically change parameters of their functionality and appearance according to data retrieved form social media activity. They reflect on behaviors that appear on social networks such as the divergence between digital & physical identities, dataveillance, technological mediation of social interactions and internet materiality. Social Things address critically the notions of Internet of Things and Social media, shedding light on the social consequences of their use. The Social Things series consists of three projects: inflated_ego, #freeprometheus and eCO2system.
Excessive exposition of a curated and deliberately crafted view of the self is a common social-media behavior. The individual promotes a self-enhanced self in order to reach an elevated digital social status admired by peer social media users. This behavior fuels a narcissistic vicious cycle where the individual curates the exposed image in order to gain admiration. This sculpted image receives a number of likes that bolsters the narcissist’s positive self-views and encourage further image-editing.
A ‘like’ rewards the ceaseless effort to promote a carefully curated view of the self and promote a crafted virtual happiness.
However, what is the value of a ‘like’ in the physical world?
A small amount of air is pumped into the inflated ego balloon every time a social media user likes the SoThi facebook page. Facebook ‘likes’ inflate the SoThi’s ego leading to potential destruction: a succession of multiple ‘likes’ can drive the inflated ego to an explosion.
SoThi is a fictitious public figure. Every post of the page is the result of internet searches of generic keywords in databases of public domain pictures and famous quotes. These searches further explore the divergence between physical life and crafted views of digital life. Search results of the words freedom, beauty, balance, happiness, etc return images of fashionable models, cosmetics, yoga practitioners at illustrated beaches and celebrities’ parties. SoThi’s page is edited by multiple editors turning SoThi into a plural identity.
Pochen Biennale. Chemnitz, Germany. October – November, 2020
Extending Reality | CoExistence: Art, Science & Technology group exhibition. Eugenides Foundation. Athens, November 2019
“Augmented objects interacting with social media activity” @ Ionian Academy, Corfu, May 2019
inflated_ego@ Pochen biennale 2020. Photos by Bela Bender, Mark Frost, Tim Plagemann
SoThi Facebook Page : https://www.facebook.com/superSothi/
inflated ego set-up scheme