Synopsis of study

We live in a society of surveillance, data collection and data protection. Credit cards log every transaction they make, and in London it is said that the average person is caught on at least 200 CCTV cameras a day. Nearly every move we make is in someway recorder and processed and a lot of it happens with out us knowing or being actively aware of it taking place.

The ‘processing’ of this information gives it a whole new meaning and purpose. Numbers and figures are collated, assessed and used to make us (the user/customer) faster more efficient buyers of products, as well as making our experience more pleasant and pleasurable.


Through looking at research into sales, marketing and surveillance, I will set up one or more social experiments, and recording/ collating the data that comes off. This will be done without the participant’s full knowledge (during the experiment, as still would effect the results of the test), but will require disclaimers and consent to be given after, for legal purposes.

There will be two parts to the experiment, both of which will be set up online, using Flash and the Internet. One in which the participant gives permission for use of their camera, then allowing them to interact with some part of my website (similar to ‘Photobooth’ found on Mac, or other interactive videos). The second part can only take place after this first part has, once the user has given permission for the use of the camera and microphone. A recorded (via the camera and microphone) period of waiting will commence, which will not end until the user becomes too annoyed at waiting and presses the back button to exit the page. The time will be noted and the recording of video will end at this point. A short legal document will be shown, detailing what has just happened and the option to agree or disagree to the data being used will be issued, the data will then be either deleted or saved depending on the users response to this question.

Once the data has been collated, I will then experiment with different media and materials to work(s) that use and/ or reflect the results, looking at both known and unknown interaction and how they differ from one and other. This could involve further interaction from others or take on the form of simple illustrations.


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April 2009
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