Minor project 1: Expo: 2082 / Bastille
‘Submarine Channel explores the narrative possibilities of new and emerging genres such as the interactive documentary, transmedia storytelling, virtual reality and interactive graphic novels.’
What if a big corporation had all the power?
At the start of this project we made a group containing six people with me included. All from different disciplinaries. For the project we chose the partner Submarine channel: (https://submarinechannel.com/)
They gave us the assignment to: Design an interactive experience that critically examines the present through a “what if” future scenario.’ With this we really wanted to work with storytelling and creating an interactive experience.
‘How can we inform our users about a present issue using a future scenario?’
To achieve our speculative reflection, we found it interesting to create an expo. This way we can present the information as if they were to tell future generations of future generations about the pitfalls of our generation, from the perspective of a worst case scenario that has transpired.
We wanted to create an experience that looks at the issue from a top down view. Instead of looking at the future from the past we will be looking at the near future from even further in the future. We will be calling this top down view a ‘speculative reflection’. We came up with the following research question:
In the past few years there has been a lot of rumors and facts about companies sharing the data they acquired from their users, from simple pictures to entire algorithms predicting their personalities. Chief among these dramas was the whole debacle with Facebook and Cambridge Analytica, and while this led to the demise of the latter, people are still sharing their data.
We would like to focus our attention to companies such as Ancestry.com, MyHeritage and 23andme, who sell DNA extraction kits which can be used to discover the heritage of the user. But the user might be doing more than just buying their services, they might inadvertently be selling their own genetic makeup, since with the maze that is international legislation it’s not entirely clear what a company can and may do with all that information.
We are working to create a future where a worst case scenario has unfolded. A fictional company, ‘Bastille’, has been able to access the DNA of millions of people (who all have freely given it) to do research. And while they admittedly did a lot of good, some of their practices were questionable, because they used the DNA of their clients without their consent to produce clones. When the people found out that their DNA was being used to produce clones they revolted against Bastille.
For the expo we divided the room into two smaller exhibitions rooms. On the first part is the ‘former’ Bastille part. In this part we displayed varying items and pieces from Bastille, DNA scanners, work clothing and more. At the end of the first part is the ‘Body-check’ machine where you have to look and accept the terms and conditions of Bastille. After that you will continue into the second part of Bastille. This is after Bastille has been taken down. There has been a rebellion and you will see at the end that the user has been cloned.