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Hello Outer Space!

Fortune Cookie, Installation

2014

The installation investigates the dynamics between users, images and image search engines in the current panorama of the Web.

tags
dream, image search results, installation, postcards, print, search engines
role
co-creator
responsibilities
concept, design
team
Andrea Buran, Eleonora Sovrani
link
Fortune Cookie
pictures of the installation by
Christo Crocker

The installation correlates two different but comparable web image archives: the first—potentially infinite—one is being continuously powered by users through the site Fortune Cookie, while the second—actually finite—one consists of images retrieved from a sample of ten image search engines.

In the first archive the links to the images submitted by the participants and collected through the site are aggregated together in a single cluster, and printed on-the-fly by means of a digital printer installed on the spot.

The second archive is populated with the first fifty results returned in response to the query dream, retrieved from a sample of ten different image search engines1.

“People who think that search engines are completely objective ignore the fact that every search engine has its own philosophy, every search engine has its own set of algorithms and those algorithms encode the ranking philosophy of that search engine, […] every search engine is going to have different ideas of what the ideal set of search results is […].”

Video, Matt Cutts.

Starting from the unusual assumption that every search engine has indeed its own subjectivity and thus a clear, univocal idea of what dream should be, all clusters of images are treated and introduced as if they were collected by an out-and-out test subject.

The first physical counterpart of Fortune Cookie has been set up as a postcards installation at West Space gallery during the exhibition Can we please play the internet?, curated by Rosemary Willink in occasion of the Next Wave festival.

  1. Ask, Bing, Collarity, Exalead, Google, Picsearch, Quality Images Search, Spezify, Yahoo and Yandex. 

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