#freePrometheus (2018). Interactive data-driven installation (plexiglass, led lights, custom electronics, custom software)
#freePrometheus is the second 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 from 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.
The figure of Prometheus Bound is transferred to our current hybrid reality of continuous internet connectivity and restless social media presence. Under this context, a campaign in favor of the political prisoner Prometheus appears on social media with the distinctive hashtag #freePrometheus. However, the data flow is surveilled and controlled by authorities, who use these data against Prometheus, gradually destroying the gift that he offered to humanity: the fire.
The artwork is a data-driven installation containing a light source (symbol of fire). The installation receives and processes data from the social media platform Twitter, and it detects the tweets tagged with the hashtag #freePrometheus. A custom algorithm controls the data flow, so every time someone uses this hashtag, the light source fades out, until it gets completely dark. The form of the installation simulates -through the use of new technologies (led lights and plexiglass tubes)- the plant narthex (a kind of cane), where Prometheus hid the fire when he stole it from Hephaestus, according to the myth.
The artwork invites visitors to interact by publishing tweets tagged with the hashtag #freePrometheus and to observe how the installation is transformed dynamically according to the received data. Simultaneously, it invites them to reflect on the gradual substitution of active sociopolitical action with the passive exchange of digital data, the dataveillance and control by authorities and the divergence between digital and physical identities, intentions and actions.
Prometheus 2.0 group exhibition in the context of Tragedy 2.0_Athens 2018 Research and Arts Program for the Ancient Drama and the Digital Age. Michael Cacoyannis Foundation. Athens, October 2018
“Augmented objects interacting with social media activity” @ Ionian Academy, Corfu, May 2019
Co-production: peqpez.net & Michael Cacoyannis Foundation
#freePrometheus set-up scheme:
#freePrometheus @ Prometheus 2.0 exhibition @ Michael Cacoyannis Foundation:
Setting up the Prometheus 2.0 exhibition @ Michael Cacoyannis Foundation, Athens: