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Check out this thought-provoking project locating Facebook interactions in the real world

Rebecca Ricks found out where she did the things she did online.

Welcome to NET/WORK 2017. (Photo by Joey Davidson)
It’s weird that so much of our lives are lived online, while they’re actually, physically lived in the real world, seated behind a desk or walking around on our phones.

That’s the idea Brooklyn technologist Rebecca Ricks, a student at NYU’s ITP program, takes on with her interesting new work, Logged In From:.

“I’m interested in exploring the concept of ‘digital dualism’ — the habit of viewing the online and offline as largely distinct,” Ricks wrote on her website. “We are actively constructing our identities whether behind a screen or in person.”

In the project, Ricks tracks down the metadata of her major interactions with Facebook: changing profile pictures, creating new passwords, etc. She got the exact location where she was and wrote a program that would take those coordinates, find them on Google Maps street view, and create a GIF of the landscape of where she was.

“I wanted to try re-inserting the digital world into the physical world,” Ricks explained. “I decided to locate specific actions I took on Facebook within a physical geography and landscape.”

The results are neat. The GIFs evoke a realization that reality is complicated and that, for whatever exists in the ephemeral online space, we are still people living in places.

Companies: New York University
Series: Brooklyn

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