My mom and I are great friends, but we don't agree on anything when it comes to sharing private information online. When we attended the exhibit Virtual Identities at the Strozzina as a mother-daughter team, we thought we'd each react very differently to the works and concepts presented. Much to our surprise, we had similar reactions to the installations.
The exhibit aims to heighten the public's awareness of the meaning, consequence, and potential of our digital actions and the traces they leave. Rather than imposing a strong, unifying thesis, the artwork causes the viewer to consider what it means to be an individual in the digital world. The show raises some issues that resonate with our own experiences; posed as questions, they inspire debate.
So you wanna be famous?
In the video installation Mass Ornament by Natalie Bookchin, the artist assembles hundreds of YouTube videos of people dancing alone in their rooms. Produced individually by people who think they're being creative, together they form a choreography of repeated dance moves, demonstrating a lack of originality. User-generated content can give anyone ‘15 minutes of fame,' convincing people to believe that they are important. Perhaps this is why we narcissistically Google ourselves-a habit that is encouraged in the interactive installation by MIT's Sociable Media Group that unites viewers' physical and virtual selves in the museum space.