“Inserting pieces of actual reality often removes the magic of virtual reality.”
– Aaron Ben-Ze’ev (2004, Love Online: Emotions on the Internet)

is a hybrid of online and offline human interaction, a series of objects that parodies how we cultivate relationships in social media. It hopes to provoke and encourage people to think about how social networking is changing the way we communicate, obtain affection, and how it influences the way we view ourselves.

Facebook has become the most popular and current social networking site and is increasingly changing the way we form relationships.  It is so apparent in the lives of individuals since its introduction in 2004, that individuals carry their unfinished conversations and friendships from the “real” world into the virtual world with just the phrase, “facebook me!”  It has become a statement that everyone understands, as it hints at the possibility of a step taken further to grow that particular friendship or forge new ones.  Ironically, Facebook also allows you to stay on good terms with someone without ever having to meet up, listen to them, or fake an interest in their lives.  Moreover, we can gather more information about someone from their profile without having to actually talk to them.

What happens when communication no longer required the use of your mouth and tongue to create weird sounds called “words”?  Why do some of us measure ourselves against how many friends or “likes” we gather on our Facebook account?

MAX is used for people to scan each other to make friends and users can also create their own barcodes in a separate MAX application.

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Jun 18 2011 | 2:35 am

Hi , h for your post, I take an interest in anyone making stuff and ideas in Max Msp and jitter. I just would like to ask you about the very idea of barcoding people. To my mind considering the rights of humans in this day and age I would like to ask you your views on this. Anyway all good, thanks.

Jun 18 2011 | 3:41 am

Yes. Barcodes do objectify people. Thus, the idea of barcoding people depicts how some relationships on facebook are becoming impersonal/superficial (eg. birthday wishes on facebook – did your friend get reminded by the updates on facebook instead of remembering your birthday?).

The idea of this project was to challenge that and bring affection/humanity back into Facebook. Nothing beats real-world interaction.

Jun 18 2011 | 4:34 am

Hi Micrography, thanks for your reply. A great point. Good luck with your projects.

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