reinventing the world using ubiquitous technologies
Category Archives: Angel_F
Angel_F is the digital child of Derrick de Kerckhove and the Biodoll, the digital prostitute imagined by artist Franca Formenti.
Born as a spyware, the little artificial intelligence learns language by absorbing the content that thousands of people produce and browse on the Internet.
Angel_F is a metaphor of the mutations of human beings brought on by wide availability of digital technologies and networks, with impacts on the ways in which we perceive identity, sexuality, public and private spaces.
“Representative elected institutions are progressively loosing sense: the sense of being connected to the organism they live in and are part of and work for – society. This is perhaps why we are barely embarrassed to talk about politics or define something as “political”: we are speaking about the pathology of representative systems more than the actual thing. We can speculate if representative institutions are pathological from their very roots […], but politics is a larger subject concerning our relations to power, the directions we want to choose among the possible and desired futures (as individuals and society), and how we organize ourselves to make it happen.”
While at the festival, Angel_F went around on its baby pram playing a little joke on people: the webcam mounted on its monitor constantly used computer vision techniques to capture the faces of everyone who happen to play with the kid for a bit.
Angel_F at Transmediale
All captured faces were then used on a face recognition algorithm to actively search for the people Angel_F had met in Berlin. Whenever that happened, the delighted digital kid sent them a message like “Hello! We’ve met in Berlin, would you like to be my friend?”.
Scary and invasive as it might sound, people were more than delighted to offer their friendship to the digital kid and around 20% of the captured faces were identified on Facebook alone.
This has also proved to be a wonderful opportunity to, once again, explore how digital networks and technologies are deeply affecting our ideas of public and private spaces, of privacy and of intellectual property. People reached in this terribly invasive way were more than eager to thoroughly discuss these themes.
Thanks to Marina Bellini (info about what Marina does are here and here) we have been invited to bring our little Angel_F to an interesting dialogue with Derrick de Kerckhove, about the new scenarios offered by networks, technologies and new forms of publishing, and the possibilities to reinvent reality.
xDxD, penelope.di.pixel and Derrick de Kerckhove at the Digital Cafè
Here is a short video (sorry, it’s in Italian) of a part of the dialogue that Angel_F and Derrick de Kerckhove held at the Più Libri Più Liberi book fair in Rome, at the Digital Cafè.
Angel_F at the Digital Cafè
This specific part of Angel_F’s discussion is about the strategies of power.
The website uses a minimal WordPress theme which we created. It is released under a GPL2 license, so you can download it here if you want to use or modify it.
It has 4 columns that you can configure using the Theme options on your WordPress dashboard: the first 3 can be assigned to three post categories, the fourth one is for the sidebar or, if you don’t have any widgets configured on it, it shows your blogroll and links.
The footer hosts nicely laid out boxes into which you can write anything you like. Modify the “footer.php” file to configure its contents. We provided small boxes (so that 6 of them can line up in the footer) and a wide one, which we’re currently using to describe the licensing of the content.
Make sure to configure the options, otherwise the plugin will be blank.