Collar AG

Collar AG

Hong Kong Arts Centre, 2016

Surrendering the bubble

Under the giant wave of big data, every decision we made on the web is being drawn into bottomless whirlpool. Whether you drop a keyword in Google’s search engine, or click a like on the Facebook, the Internet will record it and customize the filter bubble for your behavior. This phenomenon is set to become a personal optimization system that isolates us in the ideological frames.

Social media advocates virtual community, encouraging sharing and public privacy; once you pressed the snap button, the face recognition technology is able to spot everyone on the photo; while you geo-tagged the location, this will contribute the GPS information to the map; when you surf the web, accepting the cookies will expose browsing histories and preferences unconditionally. Social media seduces us and makes the sharing behavior a habitation unconsciously. Any kind of interaction would sacrifice a certain level of freedom. Even we are aware that our user’s privacy and security are being monitored, we are still willing to surrender.

“I think of surrendering as an active verb, not a passive verb.” – Brain Eno

Technology empowers us the ability to control, but it also gives us the frameworks. As Eno said, in ancient primitive era, humans do not have the ability to control nature, all sort of things were absolutely unpredictable. Until we learnt how to use tools to make fire, we realized that technology could advance us to control more and more for living. But still, we can’t defy the law of nature, surrendering is always the big part of our life. Surrendering isn’t just giving up and doing nothing when you know you can’t control something. Instead, it is about how to go with the flow.

In this whirlpool, we are wrapped with filter bubbles. However, would it contradict our intentions if we go with the vulgar? Would this so called “user-friendly” and “tailor-made” form of censorship change our personality? And facing tons of data mining, is this still worthwhile to surrender the bubble?

Collar AG is a wearable device that creates a unique experience of spatial intervention. The device pretends to be an audio guide to walk you through the exhibition site, giving you the information about the artwork automatically. Yet, the device will intervene your behavior. Collar AG is a fashionable object that act as a remediation of the ideological frames of the internet. The project attempts to experiment this seductive and contradictory situation.


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