idea and realization: Iliyana Kancheva coding: Martin Sotirov(libtec.org)
Through careful selection of the images and actions we share online, we construct our desired identity. It is created to be liked and therefore it is always more glamorous, more beautiful, more successful. The more likes it collects, the more its ego grows. The personality in real life becomes dependent on the adoration and gradually starts to modify itself and obey the needs of its virtual equivalent in search for more and more interesting and creative ways to provide the indispensable likes. Are we becoming slaves of our own virtual alter ego or is it an extension, an augmentation of our self?
The interactive installation “Automated Self” explores this ambiguous character of our virtual identities in the social networks. Through a specially created profile in Instagram*(social network for sharing images) the author builds up an alter ego, a false identity which acts as if it is having a perfect social life – parties, travels, celebrity friends, gourmet food. The installation represents a bot which randomly searches for pictures in Google, integrates a portrait of the author in them and shares them in the social network. The process is initiated by the audience by pushing a button. Every time the button is pushed the installation generates new images, feeding its profile in Instagram. The randomly created images sometimes look genuine, sometimes illogical or even surrealistic. They ironically reveal to the extreme our attitude towards our own identity and its reproduction in the virtual space of the social networks.
*the profile in Instagram is not active at the moment
view of the installation
Some of the images generated by the installation during its first presentation at The Red House Centre For Culture and Debate in Sofia, October 2017