CONNECT!: An Orwellian likely future?


Project Description

The Oxford dictionary chose post-truth as the 2016 word of the year. According to the Oxford dictionary, post-truth can be defined as "relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief" (2016). The role of post-truth as a discourse in contemporary societies, especially given the Cambridge Analytica scandal (Cadwalladr & Graham-Harrison, 2017), helps situate how misinformation has become a central feature of people's everyday lives in the anglophone world. This project engages in such broader discourses by presenting a creative animated motion that represents the unintended consequences of a post-truth world.

The project introduces a futuristic city controlled by CONNECT!, an AI operated corporation whose mission is to create a 'better future'. The corporation is eager to build a city where individuals experience only positive emotions, and it does whatever it takes to achieve its goal.

In order to achieve its grand plan, CONNECT! has published a series of law, aiming to eliminate any negative emotions. The city has a strict emotion limit, which allows and encourages its residents to feel and express joy and excitement, but restricts any expression on frustration, sadness and anger. Harsh consequence apply if any resident decides to take the risk of breaking regulations.

The story of Karla happens in 2079, 30 years since the city has been formed. During the past decades, the city has developed its own system, including the financial, which abandons paper money but welcomes social media wealth by regarding followers as wealth. As such, individuals are encouraged to express and celebrate the positive aspects of their lives. CONNECT! has spread conspiracy theories all over the city's web that discourages individuals from exploring life beyond their immediate social media profiles and supposed happiness.

Intrigued by such a unidirectional world-view, Karla, one day, expresses her frustration and skepticism on social media about how unlikely it is that the world is such a positive place where everyone seems to be always happy. The algorithms of CONNECT! immediately pick up Karla's anomaly post and set in motion a chain of reactions that Karla could never have imagined.

This project is exhibited at MADA NOW 2018 Graduate Exhibition.

Drive by Last Coast
Mayhem by Ian Post