STAND BY/ME artistically bridges a gap between humans and machines, focusing on the concept of standby as an expression of a technological state between inactivity and activity. It connects the online world of social media with the lived reality of the Everyday within an interactive experience. By playing with the continuity and discontinuity of digital information flow within interactivity, this work triggers questions about the artistic reaction to human and technological expressions of standby, and about the feeling when encountering a society gripped by a general sense of standby, that is, feeling alert and at the same time wholly incapable of action.
STAND BY/ME is an interactive installation composed of linked power sockets, which are extended with sound and light output, and can be controlled in a decentralized way. The installation represents the patterns of information flow and constructs connections between the semantics of online utterances and values, and it projects these patterns from the human realm back into the domain of machines, playing with the most common notion of indicating standby: the Light Emitting Diode (LED that is used in power sockets. Visitors to the installation will be able to interact with different physical switches (the power to switch on and off that interrupt or pave the path of information in the installation. By playing with the continuity and discontinuity of digital information flow within interactivity, visitors will possibly make the connection to their lives as players in a grander scheme of societal stand by.
The interaction in this work is made of seemingly mundane, yet ‚super-charged‘ electrical household items which visualize a connected data system that is perceiving and interpreting the actuality of human-technology confrontation.
Images: © Yu Zhang.