Mediamatic Foundation organises workshops, exhibitions, publishes magazines and DVDs and invited me to come participate in the 2011 ikSentric hacker’s camp on sensors and bodily information. Together with JB Labrune, Dana Gordon and a tiny baby, I explored some of my obsessions about biting things and wondering how I could get biting into an interface.
Mediamatic Lab develops a content management system based on semantic web principles called anyMeta. They like to say that everything is a thing in anyMeta, which means that any person, photo or article has its own unique ID and metadata and can be brought up in the related items of another article. This makes generative webpages and a nice intuitive browsing experience.
In anyMeta, you also make friend connections like any other social network, and these are the connections that we explored in the ikBijt installation (ikBijt is dutch for IBite). Sometimes, some of the friendship data that in real life is a little murky is starkly apparent on social networks You have Martin York listed as a friend and viewed his profile 200 times in the last 6 months. Martin is not connected to you and has never viewed your profile. In ikBijt, we teased these connections out a little more and had the installation form a narrative about your social status.
Don’t you like Willem Velthoven? Why have you not added him as a friend even though he added you.
The user of the installation has to kneel on a prayer stool, and bite down on a rod in front of her. Her RFID card is read and ikBijt starts whispering through bone conduction to the user. In the noisy environment, she has to plug her ears to hear the secrets the installation is telling her– and then quickly unplug them to see if anyone else is hearing this.
Go visit the installation! It is on display now as part of ARCADE, through March 27th 2011.
We made the installation with the help of two wonderful carpenters, Jakob and Tjeu, and also the amazing help and management of Deborah Meibergen.