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Paradox Facebook Page /2020

Paradox Facebook Page /2020

For the Užupis University Institute for Applied Paradox we created a Facebook page that we completely hid it from the public. If you want to see the site and its content, you have to travel to a secret place on this earth. From any other place you cannot open the page and the link will be rejected as false. And even if a person travelled to this secret place, she could only see the first three entries of our page, all other lectures are only visible to the page administrators.

For an algorithm that aims for reach and engagement, it is completely incomprehensible why we hide from followers. Maybe out of pity, maybe out of charity, maybe even out of appreciation for our research, the algorithm continuously and emphatically wants to help us to become famous. However, the Facebook algorithm seems to be a little over-enthusiastic. It starts to produce senseless mistakes that we have never seen before on Facebook. We then document these errors and feed them back into the algorithm. Nobody likes to be confronted with her mistakes, apparently no algorithm either. Accordingly, it reacts with even more non-sense until the mobile app eventually crashes. We also document this and, again, feed it back into the algorithm etc. ad infinitum.

To give you an insight into our research and teaching, we now present three of the more than 50 lectures we have held so far:

This is a lecture post reposted as a new lecture. The first post contains a warning that our page is not reaching any people. We reposted this post and received the same warning again. At the same time the algorithm confirms that the latter post has reached two people.

 

 

This lecture shows an auto-generated offer to pay for facebook add. The algorithm offers to reach zero other people for paying zero money. Again, this post already reached two people.

 

 

This lecture shows a screenshot of another auto-generated offer proposing to advertise a blank image.

Biased Facebook Picture Preview /2020

Biased Facebook Picture Preview /2020

Users found out that twitter’s preview algorithm seemed to have a bias. It seemed to prefer showing faces with lighter skins, when it was forced to select an area of an image, which was too long to display in total. I replicated these findings for Facebook.

Project Home Vienna /2020

Project Home Vienna /2020

Project Home aims to redefine this almost utopian narrative through collecting and sharing personal stories of people who relocated by choice or necessity or struggled with the traditional concept of home for any other reason. By that, we hope to inspire others to question some of the limiting beliefs and recognize their own unique way “to home”.

In a world where estimated number of international migrants in 2019 reached 272 million, 70.8 million people have been forcibly displaced and 37,000 people are forced to flee their homes every day due to conflict or persecution, 150 million people are homeless, while another 1.6 billion people lack adequate housing, the traditional concept of a home as a physical space, a place where one lives permanently, were born at or where their relatives are seems very unrealistic and socially exclusive. Same applies for an idea of a home where one is loved, respected and cared for when up to 1 billion children aged 2–17 years, have experienced physical, sexual, or emotional violence or neglect in the same year.

How to Experience Project Home: There are several possibilities of experiencing this project, separately, as well as combined, depending on a platform and place. Users can either access the website as a standalone project, to read about the concept and explore this utopic alternate world hovering above Vienna, consisting of others’  stories and thoughts about home. Second kind of experience is through the real physical places that interviewed people mentioned and marked with dandelion stickers. After scanning the QR code on the sticker, the users are redirected to the online page

Team Members: Esma Bosnjakovic, Max Haarich, Nicole Schanzmeyer, Barbora Horská

Project Home Vienna was developed in the American Arts Incubator Program under guidance of Rashin Fahandej.

For further info please visit the website of Project Home Vienna.

Money Mouse /2020

Money Mouse /2020

Money Mouse is a multi-modal character developed for and with the Punch Agathe theatre project. It reveals and exaggerates the reckless greed in today’s financial markets.

 

The Money Mouse project was started by accumulating 12 fine gold coins in an investment fund. These coins were refined by a gold smith and auctioned on ebay. The auction returns were invested by a cryptohopper trade bot that obeyed Korean pump and dump groups. The generated profits were invested into “care packages” filled with legally available things like empty AK47 ammo or low radioactive Uranium. These care packages were symbolically sent into crisis regions to fuel the conflict further. The growing crises of the world would increase the value of our crisis sensitive gold coin stock to accelerate a spiral of growing returns and crises until Money Mouse would destroy the world and own all the money.

 

 

Money Mouse was also realized as an 8 meter tall inflatable puppet that would eat giant gold coins in public. The puppet became an activist fighting against greed and for the student rights in the Hungarian SZFE-Protests.

 

Art Reflects AI /2019

Art Reflects AI /2019

“Art helps us to reflect” is a common phrase. This custom made Afghan rug demonstrates this sadly. For centuries these Afghan rugs used to reflect what surrounded the people: in the beginning they showed flowers, animals and mountains. Later they showed trains and concrete buildings. Today they show autonomous drones patrolling the sky.

AI Telling the Truth /2020

AI Telling the Truth /2020

This synthetic video is playing with our notion of truth. We consider truth the solid foundation of our knowledge and beliefs. When you don’t tell the truth, you can lose friends and even your life. Nevertheless, there are reasons to doubt that truth really exists in the way we imagine it. The German Wikipedia entry for truth starts with the warning “the title of this article is ambiguous” and goes on “the notion of truth is used in different contexts and is framed differently”. The video AI telling the truth plays with this uncertainty about the meaning of truth by conveying contradicting messages through an AI generated deepfake host.

If Henry Ford had Asked The People What they Wanted… /2020

If Henry Ford had Asked The People What they Wanted… /2020

“If Henry Ford had Asked the People what they Wanted…” is a citizen science experiment that sheds new light on a famous quotation by Henry Ford. He is known for having said: If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have answered “faster horses”. As we all know, Henry Ford did not build faster horses, but cars. With this invention he and other entrepreneurs became incredibly rich. This quote is still very popular today, especially among young entrepreneurs. It is often abused to justify the aggressive marketing of products that nobody had asked for before. Especially in times of climate crisis it could be valuable to critically reflect on such a technocratic mindset.

 

Where did Mr. Ford get the right to push the production of millions and millions of these one to two ton vehicles? His machines have made walking in the city a danger of life and they have moved a large part of our fossil fuels from the ground into the air we breathe. How different would our world be today, how much better could our climate be, how many lives could have been saved if Henry Ford had simply listened to the people? What if Henry Ford had actually tried to breed faster horses?

 

 

Modern scientific findings, e.g. from bioengineering and synthetic biology, now give us a glimpse into what we could have achieved if we had used the millions of talented engineers and the billions of public subsidies to bioengineer horses for a whole century. Perhaps everyone could have their own sustainable mobility concept in the garden today. A super-fast horse that, depending on its breed, has huge pouch pockets for transporting food, or wings for crossing oceans, or simply a spacious and warm interior for the relaxed enjoyment of cherry brandy.

 

In a citizen science process we developed the first prototypes of such literally alternative mobility concepts at Kunstverein Ebersberg. Together with Ebersberg’s exhibition visitors and local residents, we collected ideas and built prototypes only from waste paper – cheap, but fun, and insightful.

Cryptomustaches /2021

Cryptomustaches /2021

Forget Cryptokitties, -punks, -kongz, -dongs, -whatever – here come the cryptomustaches!  They come in a limited edition of 7×6+1 because not everyone can wear a mustache :-{)

Cryptomustache collection on opensea.io

 

Kitsch /2021

Kitsch /2021

Fine art is fine but kitsch warms your soul. Kitsch is collection of NFTs to make you feel home in the metaverse. We all know these motifs. We have seen them a thousand times in the living room of our auntie and in the living room of all other aunties. I went to my auntie, photographed and minted them, so they can also decorate your auntie’s living room in the metaverse. There are approximately 1 Billion aunties on this planet. So I minted one copy dedicated to each selling one at a time.

 

The Kitsch collection is a comment on the predominant futuristic style of NFT artworks, which are meant to be the decoration of the upcoming Metaverse. The Metaverse shall be a place for everyone, but not everyone feels comfortable with the futuristic art recently offered on NFT market places. The Kitsch collection worships the non-elitest art that potentially billions of people could own and identify with.

 

At the same time it is a statement on NFTs promise to create ownership and scarcity in the digital space. This attempt seems to fire back to erode the idea of copyrights in the physical world. The distinction between copyright infringement and artistic expression is becoming less clear and more arbitrary. As of today, it is forbidden to sell a scan of someone else’s painting. Yet, it would be allowed to sell a photo of a living room, where that painting is visible somewhere in the background. The Kitsch collection tries to capture the exact border case, the photo of the artwork in a physical frame, where the original artwork is neither directly copied nor trivialized as a background element. As of today, nobody knows how to handle this case. Hopefully humanity will decide in favor of altruism. The wisest thing humanity ever invented was not to possess but to share.

Kitsch collection on opensea.io