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Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL

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Preliminary Work In Progress Report Project Your Reality Is Not My Reality

Introduction

Under the context of habit and habitats, we set our project as an observation of how contemporary social conventions, such as widely available social media and video platforms, information sources such as the online newspaper and magazines, has resulted in mass information and fast-evolving social standards. We observed that these varying standards are becoming more and more globalised and has blurred the line between reality and simulation. When interacting with others online, where does one’s reality ends and when does a simulation go beyond being a replica of a reality and thus becomes a simulacra? We set out to explore these questions first in the of one person – yourself, and later in the context of a society, between yourself and others.

Un-Focused

Erin Guan, Fei Han, Sun Yu, Un-Focused Prototype, 2020

Self-observation is based on biological nature which drives human beings to adjust themselves in different aspects through self-modification. From ancient time to the early 18th century, with the invention of mirror and photography, people have formed the habit of self-observation by using different materials to form self-appreciation and self-development. The rise of social media provides new platforms that allow people to express themselves through selfies which are captured and shared online. As a fact, our self-observation is shaped by standard perfection in the fast-evolving social media gradually.

In the current information era, we are constantly exposed to a highly distracting environment as social media evolves. There is tremendous amount of information to draw our attention and distract us. To find out more about the reasons of our distraction, we made a social experiment observing the process of communication online and off-line. The result showed that our observers were easily distracted by both their technological devices and real-life stimulants. The participants are not fully focused on one task at the same time and are unconsciously led to multiple tasks.

Based on this phenomenon, we began to investigate online playgrounds of social media and its influence on distraction and to explore visually the relationship in AR. We use the method of visualising one’s indentity in layered simulated with distortion. We found that the presence of both a realistic surrounding and augmented visuals (AR) draw a closer relationship between our sense of self in the real world, to our perfection driven online persona.

Media Killed Someone Today

Erin Guan, Fei Han, Sun Yu, Media Killed Someone Today, 2020

Media Killed Someone Today is a continuous exploration of how media effect on personal identity affects social interactions in the scale of a society by enlarging the portal Un-Focused has provided for users to self investigate the personal affect of online presence on personal identity. In the current living context of a pandemic lockdown, we are forced into more online interaction than ever. Our online persona is taking on more and more roles, as working professionals, friends, family members and so on, in replacement of our physical realities. We see this unprecedented scenario as an opportunity to consider interactive in a fully online-immersive fashion – an interactive website, where users are able to participate in events of social affairs in their choice of online persona.

Erin Guan, Fei Han, Sun Yu, Media Killed Someone Today interactive messenger, 2020

Erin Guan, Fei Han, Sun Yu, Media Killed Someone Social Media Interaction, 2020

Our website is a perspective into a multi-narrative social event listing examples of online personas from different members of society (including teen influencers, youtubers, politician, elders etc). The satirical event takes place in the form of news broadcast of a case of murder by media, inviting users to participate in discussion and investigation along with other characters in a number of online platforms, such as twitter, instagram and youtube. The news broadcast displays a character’s state of reality, and their online status according to their choice of media platforms, the pressures of following social trends as well as personal preferences, resulting in a state of mulfunctioning and distortion of identity – the ‘murder’ or a simulacra. This is an experiment inviting users to express their opinions similar to how we would respond to current affairs online, and thus contributing to the ‘deaths’ and prevailing direction of the events. We encourage users to associate their personal experience by giving them choices to the storyline, and to reflect on the effects of online media to themselves in the context of a society.

Online Portfolio:

Erin Guan: https://www.instagram.com/eriney.g/

Sun Yu: https://sourrainnn.wixsite.com/sourrain

Fei Han: https://www.instagram.com/blancmai/

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