Screen shot 2014-04-15 at PM 06.25.17

Project Conclusion: The Subzone

The deeper one continues to prod at a tear in space, that tear will continue to grow. The same can be said about documenting and constructing the Subzone. What initially started as a way to glitch the virtual environment by playing with viewer perceptions turned into something huge on it’s own. The Subzone now stands as a virtual landfill, which projects samples of the huge influx of content being pushed out by people for people.

The most tedious and challenging part of the project was getting the technical aspects sorted out. This involved finding ways to circumvent problems if users are unable to access the Subzone due to a missing plugin for example, where they would then be able to choose to download the content to their local desktop and access it from there. Another conundrum was that of a moral one, as using Facebook wall images as the textures meant I might have to mask the images of faces. This also brings up issues of privacy intrusion, as I was essentially making their private Facebook walls public by using screenshots. I decided to target just the public pages on Facebook instead to get around this touchy issue, as the intentional idea to make something public would at times mean that the owners have no problems with other people knowing what they were up to.

Inclusion of the darker sides of Facebook meant having to trawl through comment threads and Facebook pages where the “keyboard warriors” will often come to gather to leave hateful comments. As for pornography and adult content, Facebook already has a stringent policing rule in place to detect and take down such content. Even so, that doesn’t stop many Facebook pages from getting around this by posting extreme risque photos of models (and this applies especially for Facebook pages maintained by adult entertainment companies).

social_media
A perfect illustration of data regurgition on the Internet.

All of this sourcing for what material to include and how to present them led me to think of it all as one big black hole of virtual nothingness. Even though each of these various “material” are something in essence, in the bigger scheme of things, these trails run cold and leave the user spent. It is much like how most of social media is today: they tempt, they instigate, they provoke a reaction. In this respect, the Subzone could be regarded as an ever-growing amalgamation of this cycle which becomes outdated in content the moment it stops being updated.

One thought on “Project Conclusion: The Subzone

  1. I don’t know whether to respond to your conclusion as an apocalyptic view of the third space, or a hopeful reawakening that once the blindfolds are removed from our eyes, we can see technology for what it really is. “A black hole of virtual nothingness,” is perhaps the matrix, that simulacrum that lies behind reality, or as in the The Game, in which reality itself is deconstructed and turned inside out. The Subzone seems to represent the trappings of the other side of the digital divide, where reality is suspect and our senses are fooled. I looked forward to your presentation this evening and the opportunity to enter the black hole to have the experience firsthand. I hope we all don’t become disenchanted, or perhaps we should!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *