For this project we had to construct a fictional narrative where data is hidden in the city. The plot had to be centred on the form of the data and how it might be hidden in such a way that it can only be found and understood by a specific person or group of people. We then had to decide on a way of presenting our ideas, in my case I chose to make an editorial design for the fictional narrative.
For this coursework I let myself be inspired by current events as well as an exaggerated caricature of the “targeted adds” marketing strategy that so many businesses use nowadays. In 2014 the Chinese government started to develop a Social Credit System, intended to give Social Credit to citizen’s and business alike. To do this the Chinese government will be using CCTV and big data analysis technology. This in conjunction with the ‘targeted adds’ business model, which gathers user’s data and creates a profile for interests and likes so companies can ‘reach’ a person directly to offer them their products, got me to craft the universe the story is set in. I decided upon faceless, nameless characters to make the story impersonal but also give liberty to the reader to make their own minds about the characters, who they are and what are their intentions. This was due to me wanting to give a bigger focus to the social situations the people are involved in. It felt right to create an almost 184-esque universe, where there is a full control source that dictates people’s lives and decisions in pursue of its own interest.
It was one of those mornings where the roof drops freeze halfway down and the mist condenses enough to beat them in the race of gravity. The nerves made her running on the thin ice seem less risky. She had been thinking about this day for too long, and as she approached the museum, it was losing veracity. The mass at the entrance doubled the calculations of the organisation, half the country had travelled to see this event. Stunned faces followed her down the landing of the stairs as she made her way to a perfectly knotted red ribbon; from a film. As she shook the mayor's hand, she looked at the crowd, a strong sense of curiosity united them all, but above all incredulity that that day had come, because the truth is everything had seemed to be a fake in the transition, made of plastic, manufactured. When the tape fell into two parts and the doors opened, a change in the atmosphere became apparent, we were setting them free. At last, 10 years after the dictatorship ended, we could say it: the regime fell by accident, and at the hands of someone who did not want it to, a fanatic.