It's common to Google up a person we heard about or that we're about to meet. We sin the vanity of searching for our own name on the internet. Similar to looking at the mirror we decide what to notice and what to ignore. Is challenges the visitors with the way in which they are defined on the web – not by a pretty Facebook photo but by contents of textual descriptions. Forgotten words from across the internet fill the physical space in which the visitor stands.
A receptionists welcomes visitors at the gallery entrance and asks for their name. The names are automatically transmitted to a computer that uses a search engine to gather information about them with queries of the sort of “John Smith is”, a technique that was common in the turn of the millennium. The resulting sentences are read aloud by the computer at random intervals, one name and description at a time, surprising the visitors when their own name and an unexpected description are released into gallery space.

by Yonatan Ben-Simhon, Geetha Padapati and Alex Vessels

Presented at Scholes 319, New York, 2011