Our aim is to create an immersive and participatory installation which reflects the idea that we are so overwhelmed by the overuse of technology, it has the potential to cause isolation and negatively affect our human relationships. This concept refers to Sherry Turkle’s theory on reclaiming conversation.

“Social Soul is an immersive digital experience inspired by the question: how does it feel to be inside someone else’s social media stream? Created for Delta Air Lines, the official airline sponsor of TED2014, MKG collaborated with artists’ Lauren McCarthy and Kyle McDonald to design an experience that brings to life a user’s Twitter stream in a larger-than-life structure where their social media profile is on display in a 360-degree stream of monitors, mirrors and sound. The experience starts with the stream of the person visiting, it next uses a custom algorithm to match participants with other TED attendees and speakers, displaying their social stream. After exiting, users and their connected “Soul Mate” receive a tweet encouraging offline connections and conversation. The entire project uses seven different languages of code to handle everything from scripting to styling. The sound is a mixture of generative audio and music composed in Live.”

In a similar style to the video shown, we want to create an experience within a space where real time data will be projected across the walls. As the audience walks into the room, the projections will start, immersing them into a technological overload. If they start verbally communicating within the space, sound sensors will detect the voices, activating and temporarily causing a technological blackout. This will allow the audience to talk to each other without the distraction of technology. However, when the conversation ends, the projectors will be restarted, re-immersing the audience.

The projections will display live information that will be retrieved by API’s. It will be a fast-paced stream of live data from multiple social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter… In reference to Henry Jenkins’ definition of convergent media, we will incorporate the concept of participatory culture by allowing the audience to have a degree of control over what is happening within the space. “Social interactions highlight a sense of participatory culture where the power of the media lies within both the producer and consumer.”

Feedback from presentation:

The installation would have to be tested to see whether to have a visible microphone or not. Also to see how sensitive the sound would be, as we do not want footsteps to be picked up.

How can we get people to talk? – Room full of strangers if it was an actual exhibition?

Would a small amount of talking make it blackout completely or would it slow the data down, what level of sound would make it blackout? and would the image turning off affect the conversation?

The idea and theory needs to be more developed.

McCarthy, L. McDonald, K. (2014) Delta Social Soul. Vimeo. Available from [Accessed 10th February 2016]


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