This is an installation that sheds light on the heavily censored #metoo movement in China last year. Participants can interact with it either inside or outside a confession booth. The person inside the booth — or the “speaker” — will read a paragraph out loud, which will be a first person account from a real sexual assault victim. As they’re reciting the passage, a p5 sketch will use speech recognition to detect their voice. If the words are not clearly uttered, a high pitch sound will be triggered to interfere with the participants. Outside the booth, other participants — “listeners” in this case — will hear the message delivered by the speaker and see the booth blinking every time the speaker gets the word right. The noise in this case symbolizes the censorship apparatus in China and the light is the symbol of the user's endeavor. In order to turn off the speaker, the participants need to speak louder and clearer. The purpose is to create an uncomfortable yet empowering experience and put participants into the shoes of sexual assault victims.
Introduction to Computational Media, Introduction to Physical Computing, The Uses of Discomfort
In the age of big data, our privacy is not the only factor being compromised, so is our planet. Despite it often being overlooked, information storage and transfer over the internet comes at a huge environmental cost. We must stop thinking about the internet as a virtual product that only implicates society on a social level. The internet can have real, physical ramifications on carbon emissions.
The overwhelming amount of emissions from internet use comes from data centers. Data centers are facilities where servers, data storage devices, network devices, and monitors are use to store, manage, process, and exchange digital data and information (2). In order for the internet to be maintained, these supercomputers must constantly run, which can dissipate a great deal of heat. Data centers have to cool the computers in order to ensure that they do not overheat. The combination of dissipated heat and constant cooling produces an obscene amount of carbon emissions. While these emission are difficult to quantify, it is estimated that one Google search produces about 7g of CO2 emissions and in 2019 the internet will pollute more than civil aviation (1).
The Forgotten Footprint is a chrome extension that aims to build awareness toward this issue and expand the conversation on how we can mitigate these impacts. When a user downloads the chrome extension and begins to browse the internet, a symbol (footprint) overlays each webpage. Throughout the browsing session, with each page load, the footprint grows with respect to the amount of estimated emissions produced. This experience is meant to bring awareness to user about this issue and put the size of the internets impact on the environment into prospective.