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In a world where fortunes are sought through data-mining vast information repositories, the computer is our indispensable but far from infallible assistant. Personas demonstrates the computer’s uncanny insights and its inadvertent errors, such as the mischaracterizations caused by the inability to separate data from multiple owners of the same name. It is meant for the viewer to reflect on our current and future world, where digital histories are as important if not more important than oral histories, and computational methods of condensing our digital traces are opaque and socially ignorant.

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Virtual Gravity [virtualgravity.de] is an interactive data sculpture that makes a bridge between the digital and the analog world. Individual keywords can be selected and transported from a computer screen to an analog scale. The importance and popularity of these terms, determined by Google Insights for Search, are then represented as virtual weights, which can be physically compared on the scale.

The interaction metaphor used is to compare the “virtual weight” of information of 2 virtual objects, which takes place over an intuitively useable analog instrument: a scale. The interaction and representation of information occurs exclusively by the physical behaviour of the scale. Output of numerical values is totally renounced. In this way, the focus lies on the purely emotional information processing.

This project designed by Silke Hilsing, the same person who also created “Impress, a Flexible Display