There's a kind of crazy headspace that's easy to fall into after staring at the unceasing scroll of your social media biz on a couple of screens at a time. But this? This is a wholly terrifying total immersion in the form of an installation of sights, sounds, and mind-melting mental stimulation.
It's a lot to take in (and, yeah, it freaks me out).
Artists Kyle McDonald and Lauren McCarthy teamed up with MKG to realise the real-time concept for Social Soul. Basically, you step into a room of funhouse mirrors, except instead of seeing your reflection, it's a never-ending stream of updates and statuses. Those brave enough to enter first see their own stream, which then shifts to the stream of an algorithmically assigned "Soul Mate"; after the person's time inside is up, a tweet connects the two simpatico users, who can then pursue this newfound bond borne from their digital personas.
Somewhat bizarrely, the whole thing was sponsored by Delta Airlines in an effort to promote its new "Innovation Class" program, a partnership with LinkedIn that engineers what some might consider an in-flight nightmare. From the site:
We will be selecting leaders in innovation on their way to events around the globe for the program. They will be sitting in the mentor seat. The seat next to them will be open. This is your chance to sit in that seat. We'll fly you to the event, get you in to the event, and, most importantly, give you one-on-one access you might never otherwise get.
So, no headphones or eye-masks allowed, I guess?
Would you get in there and try it out? My pulse started racing just watching the vid so I am pretty sure my brain and heart would explode, but the idea and execution are a fascinating perspective on just how much info we're taking in and processing all the time. [PSFK]