Network By Desire
In my thesis, at Art Center College of Design, I questioned the nature of hidden cyber economies and developed a speculative device that physicalises an alternate reality the internet users are unaware of. This speculative design project is a part of a year-long research, where I defined the methodology of digital design ethnography.
LOS ANGELES, UNITED STATES
Researcher + ART Director
To physicalise the hidden economy and individuals of Account and Click Farms as end users of social media platforms.
Designing an intervention for the developed nations to challenge the notion of counterfeit and grey areas of everyday life.
Part one//NxD; Network-by-Desire
Network-by-desire, just like its name, proposes a cyberspace where the hidden realities of netizens and their desires. NxD streamlines the process of fake content generation and guides its user to develop more fake entities for the social media world. Accompanied by multiple tools, NxD is a fictional device situated in a Chittagong’s Click Cafe— Das & Co Store —where individuals can pick one of the many tasks and choose what part of the internet they’d like to morph.
As a physical manifesto, the sculpture showcases varied facets of the click farming world and how the blurred lines of cyberspace have hid the technological power of the cyberspace economies and individuals.
Part two//Rate Card
To pick a task, the user can go through the cafe’s menu where they can read task details and the amount they would earn hourly. And obviously while you’re working on NxD you can munch on the many snacks provided at Das & Co Store.
The menu card, as an artefact, introduces the viewer of the sculpture to the world we are situated in through its list of dishes and aesthetic decisions. It plays as a intervention device to rebuild a part of Bangladesh in United States.
Where the clients make requests everyday and the tasks may vary, the menu categorises them in three sections for farmers to pick the one they are more interested in; and issue tools like SIM Card Cartridges to proceed with their work.
Part two//Click lte sim card cartridges
Now that the user has been introduced to NxD and varied jobs they can work on, and they have issued cartridges; users can start with making profiles by accessing the phone functionality on the device. The cartridge activates 130 SIM cards— one after the other —and the device receives the verification messages. This functionality helps the user by reducing the number of devices they have to juggle with, and makes the fake content generation more agile than our contemporary solutions.
Part Four// Gray Pages
After the users have created hundreds and thousands of fake profiles, they document them in special editions of Gray Pages for clients who have requested and bought followers for their social media profiles. Each client gets their own hard copy of profiles, their fake personalities, and social media preferences, for them to use at their disposal. The core aim of this documentation is to keep the fake-ness of the fake entities away from the internet.
For more thesis information, read the process blog here.