nicole pruckermayr / elisabeth schimana, MODELLSthe perfect profile
nicole pruckermayr / elisabeth schimana, MODELLSthe perfect profile
nicole pruckermayr / elisabeth schimana, MODELLSthe perfect profile
nicole pruckermayr / elisabeth schimana, MODELLSthe perfect profile
 

nicole pruckermayr / elisabeth schimana


<

MODELLSthe perfect profile



Every time we search the Internet, we leave a trace. Search engines create profiles based on these traces, which they use to assess what kind of person we are. In their temporary LED installation on the façade of the Altes Kloster hotel, Nicole Pruckmayr and Elisabeth Schimana address how search engines on the World Wide Web have an impact on people and how users (de)form reality (albeit not always intentionally). According to the artists: “As soon as we enter the Internet, we take part in rankings, have an impact on news coverage, are analyzed as consumers, and become part of all kinds of future strategies. We provide our profiles, and every link we click on is documented.” The base station for this installation was a tower called Insight Turm – eine Welt-maschine (Insight Tower: A World Machine), which the artists developed together with Seppo Gründler and Martin Schitter for the 2011 Lower Austrian State Exhibition in the Kulturfabrik in Hainburg. Looking into the tower through one of the windows, visitors could see projections in its interior that visu­alize the processes, mechanics, and systems behind Internet searches. On the floor of the tower was a world map with hubs that lighted up, indicating where the search requests were collected. While visitors were looking on, their faces were photographed in profile. The profile was transmitted outside to an LED board on the front of the hotel. Eventually, the picture dissolved into pixel dots and “trickled” to the bottom of the board, where it was integrated into three abstract profiles that were constantly remodeled into “perfect profiles.” The irony and seriousness behind this work is evident. In terms of public space, the map of the world needs redraw­ing, as it has long expanded into the virtual world of the social web. Humans have gained new opportunities to act in this virtual world, but through the algorithms that essentially translate them into abstract values to be analyzed, they have also become more predictable and thus easier to control.