Somestic Media

Year:
2018

Comission:
New Talent Cohort, Pervasive Media Studio

Collaborators:
Tom Metcalfe as mentor, David Haylock as creative technologist, Victoria Tillotson as the New Talent programme manager

Somestic Media is a series of domestic IoT appliances, embodying the impact social media has on the perception of time, distance and normality. An alarm clock, a TV set, and a radio — the trio are connected objects, purposely trapped within the boundaries of conventional media of the past century.


Each of the devices pulls, processes and displays specific data from a major social network. However, the three iconic devices are deprived of two-way interaction with the user, indispensable in the Internet age, due to their limited nature. These limits allow to isolate, amplify and expose the obscure and presumably friction-less communication processes, orchestrated by complex social media algorithms.

Somestic Media #2

‘LastSeen’ is an alarm clock that goes off when a person of interest comes online on Facebook, and can count as long as years since their last appearance.

Somestic Media #3

‘SoulMate’ is a radio unit that announces the names, age, distance and profile bios of potential romantic partners. It also reads emojis. A special “Follow Mode” can be accessed via a key switch, which then tells very accurate distance to your existing matches.

Somestic Media #4

‘BreakingViews’ breaks routines by displaying unforgettable Instagram stories. You can replay a story, and a special counter shows how many times you have done so.

Who would you choose to follow and why? - What is the second most important criteria after image on dating apps? Age? Distance? Bio? Why would you prefer a story over another? Is it the content? The person posting it?

The display of the collected data manifests the game-changing impact social-media has towards our perception of time, distance, and transcendent importance, commonly referred to as conventional norms. The aim here is to render social media processes more tangible, perceptible and therefore accessible.Such exposure is vital for understanding how the new technologies change the way we live and socialise, and the information we take for granted.

Beyond this installation, we envision running a series of workshops, using the objects’ technical frameworks, base code and electronics. We hope to promote discussion around digital social standards, and the consequences of their leak into the physical world. In particular, we are interested in tackling topics such as digital empowerment, post-consumerism, trolling and cyberbullying, and data privacy. You can find more information about the project here.

Somestic Media

Year: 2018
Commission: New Talent Cohort, Pervasive Media Studio
Collaborators: Tom Metcalfe as mentor, David Haylock as creative technologist, Victoria Tillotson as the New Talent programme manager