Whenever you surf the web or use apps on your smartphone, you are being watched. Google, Facebook, Amazon, Spotify, Netflix, but also an array of unknown data brokers are following you at every turn and creating comprehensive personality and behavior profiles. It's all about knowing you exactly: Your wishes and desires, your weaknesses and fears. It's about being able to lure you in the best possible way: for example, driving you to spend even more time on social networks by capturing your attention for hours with customized content. Or by encouraging you to buy things you don't really need, as well as getting you to endorse opinions that were generated for you by personalized political messaging. Or to vote for a particular party on election day. How free are we when all these players can predict and influence our behaviour?
With our theatrical-digital project, we are putting this to the test. Under the expert guidance of data analysts, we evaluate the data Google, Facebook & Co. collect about you and create a picture of you and your personality. How much can we find out without ever having met you, without knowing your name and without gaining insight into your private messages or conversations? We believe: What the internet companies can legally find out about you is enough to draw a detailed picture of your character, your behaviour patterns, your thinking - in short: your life. We will do the same, but we will spare your “dirty little secrets”.
A performer will bring this picture to life. In a stage set, which we design solely on the basis of your online data and which shows the places you typically stay at, things you interact with etc., the performer(s) will learn to embody your behaviour. What about those aspects and moments of your life about which we have no data? Will the performer succeed in filling these blind spots with the re-enactment? Or are the data analysts faster and, by comparing your data with millions of other data sets, have long since been able to make predictions about interests, desires and behaviour even though you yourself have left no trace? How can the consumer economy, insurance companies, political parties or lobbyists who want to influence your opinion use the data about your emotional weaknesses to get you to behave in a way that benefits their interests at the right moment? Your personal dopplegänger will experience it.
At the end of May 2021 we will launch a web project that will make this worldwide unique experiment accessible to a broad audience. Our innovative storytelling website transports your data doppelgänger to the place where this experiment starts: the web. What story will we be able to tell about you or your double? Will you recognize yourself? Or will your data lead us on the wrong track? How uncanny will it be for you to see your alter ego communicating and acting exactly the way you would have done it? How does it feel to experience the influence that specifically placed nudges have on your life? Do we and the visitors of the website succeed in anticipating what you (your double) will do next? How far apart are the assumptions? And: What do the speculations reveal about us and the visitors of the website?
Become part of a groundbreaking experiment!