Ron Kuivila - Getting to to know you
  Year :   2001
  Location :   Germany
  Worktype :   Installation
  Materials:   -
  Info :   Parochial, Singuhr - Horgalerie in Parochial, Berlin

  Work Details  
  Who are you? In the International Personality Profile, you are a vector of true/false responses to a few hundred questions. As such a vector, you can be efficiently typed and pointed towards a career path - policeman, fireman, or teacher? In the New Economy, you are a vector of purchases combined with a postal code, which makes you both a masterful presence that web sites serve and a fungible commodity those sites sell to other sites. The distorted reflections of these fun house mirrors let them know us and, to a remarkable extent, us know ourselves. Conversely, we reshape the world in our own image, endowing technology, along with hurricanes, volcanoes, and even wines, with personality, intention, and even spiritual force. Offering computers in blueberry, tangerine, or lime is a masterful marketing ploy that leads us further down this path. Getting to Know You explores this situation. It focuses on the remarkable coercive force found in technology s ability to mimic the timing and shape of human response.The piece consists of two separate rooms. The first is a hybrid of an interrogation chamber and photo booth. A single, well illuminated chair sits in front of a mirror. Sitting in the chair causes a childlike voice to describe itself with sentences drawn from the International Personality Profile. With the innocent aggression of a child, it also solicits responses. (The imperative beep of an answering machine is added, just make it clear that a response is expected.) If you choose to answer aloud, the childvoice repeats whatever you say in the mindless ritual of being agreeable. The second room is filled with robotic pointers, antennaes that can point at any location in the room. The pointers are always unanimous in their attention, pointing at only one location at any one time. A central pointer prompts the other pointers with the same set of statements heard in the first room. One pointer at a time make a response and each becomes the center of attention for all of the other pointers. The responses are drawn from the Personality Profile augmented with whatever answers have been give by visitors to the first room. The rooms are in a kind of dialectical relation. The interaction enacted in the first room is momentary, individual, and asocial. But the responses made there acquire a sustained presence in the second room. This creates an opening. You can ignore the formalized social nicety suggested by the prompts and respond to the overall situation in any way you see fit. Thus, resistance forms.