For the past few days, using a special algorithm we call "first come, first served," we at Rhizome HQ have been busily setting up blind dates (or trying to). This is not only because we want our community to have love and be happy; it's also a way to celebrate the launch of Lauren McCarthy's Rhizome-commissioned iOS app Crowdpilot.
Crowdpilot lets you "crowdsource your social interactions" by audio-streaming them and soliciting advice from your friends, or from total strangers, online. You can download Crowdpilot for free on your iPhone, or you can listen to others' dates, and offer advice to them, by logging in to the project website.
Tonight, from 6:30pm-8:30pm EST, we'll be presenting Crowdpilot as Rhizome's third fullscreen frontpage exhibition (following Vince McKelvie and Molly Crabapple). Visitors to rhizome.org will have the opportunity to listen to, and advise on, any ongoing Crowdpilot sessions that are in progress at that time. We arranged two blind dates, but you can also join in as a dater: just run the app during that time, and it will show up on our front page.
Crowdpilot builds on an earlier experiment called Social Turkers in which McCarthy employed Mechanical Turk workers to advise her during the dating process. The app version includes an option to hire advisors via Turk, but it's also possible to use it to solicit realtime advice via social networks and the website.
From McCarthy's original proposal:
This piece talks explores potential futures through the creation of situations that are real in the present. I question the direction we are heading with the development of augmented vision systems and networked mobile applications. However, it is not meant to be purely critical -- embedded in the performance is a suggestion of a networked humanity that uses its collective wisdom to improve people’s ability to interact and form relationships. Most importantly, the piece is meant to question how we define our identities, and what freedoms might come from clinging to these ideas a little less tightly.
Download crowdpilot here. See you tonight!
Crowdpilot is a collaboration between Lauren McCarthy and Perceptor.