The Gestalt of Digital Identity

Representing complex data-driven digital identities as generative sculp­tures.

The idea of a world without the Internet is unima­gin­able to us. We use online communities to forge virtual real­ities, which are then subject to a perpetual process of rein­ven­tion and redefin­i­tion. Parallel to the world of real indi­viduals, an arti­fi­cial world has emerged of which heart beats in bits and bytes.

The project made this disparity visible by showing digital as three-dimensional forms. By determining how a digital iden­tity is created, we defined para­meters that would enable a compar­able analysis on an abstract level. Web-crawler programs were developed to auto­mat­ic­ally search the web and analyse partic­ular pages. The inter­pret­a­tion of these personal details gave each iden­tity its unique form, which was then fixed in a gener­ated sculpture.

Consumerist (Amazon), commu­nic­a­tion beha­viour (Twitter), interests (Delicious) and listening habits ( from specific people were saved in a data­base and this inform­a­tion was used to produce the sculptures.

After several prototypes of how to display the data, ranging from abstract land­scapes to almost read­able three dimen­sional networks, we decided to abstract even further, instead of displaying the under­lying inform­a­tion in an abstract way. Seven renderings were generated for each identity, from which we produced actual printed plaster sculptures.

Having two identities for yourself is an example of lack of integrity
Mark Zuckerberg
3d printed sculpture
Generative sculpture of the alias »ranzen«
Generative sculpture of the alias »stamen«

Thanks to Boris Müller & Matthias Krohn
Exhib­ited at Smart Urban Stage, Berlin, Colonia Gallery, Lisbon.

Tools ProcessingtoxiclibsSunflow
3D Print TU Berlin