Yesterday, in spite of the hang-over, I could actually be seen whistling and even humming to myself. Not often that happens; I’m in a sweet spot – I’m not totally broke, I finished my two week stint at the store, the exhibition came together “well” (by “well” I mean “it’s over and no-one has hit me in the face”) and the allergies & accompanying asthma have left me for now.
Here’s the video I’m showing at monumental, followed by the text from the exhibition catalogue.
“The uncontested order of things: A slideshow curated by Google image search.” 2006
More a proof of concept than a finished work, The uncontested order of things was created by following a set of predefined rules applied to google image search.
The search query consisted of each letter of the Swedish alphabet (A-Z + Å, Ä, Ö), and the first forty resulting images were downloaded. Duplicate images were not downloaded, nor were gif animations, although they retained their position in the “top forty”, resulting in some queries resulting in less than forty downloaded images.
One random image per queried letter was then put into a slideshow in the order of the alphabet, and the resulting movie was adapted for the 90-second screen time.
The motivation for this process, of which the resulting slideshow is but one possible combination (let alone one possible way to present the combinations) is:
1) To see how many apparently random images we can fit into a narrative, and
2) Given the omnipresence of Google, how easily received/understood/accepted the images are when
3) A qualitative analysis of the images (and search results in general) shows an (apparently) unproportional US/EU presence, which in turn should
4) Kick us in the nuts for too easily accepting the perceived “freedom of the Internet”, and not reflecting enough on what our online behavior tells of ourselves, but also what actual and very manifest power we are supporting by our actions.
And of course, since Mark actually beat me in ping-pong this afternoon, T don’t command respenct around here anymore, and am thus reduced to making comments in poor taste about people who are dead: