Following the publication of Dev Joshi‘s brief on I&IC documentary blog yesterday, I took today the opportunity to briefly introduce it to the interaction design students that will be involved in the workshop next week. Especially, I focused on some points of the brief that were important but possibly quite new concepts for them. I also extended some implicit ideas with images that could obviously bring ideas about devices to build to access some past data, or “shadows” as Dev’s names them.
What comes out in a very interesting way for our research in Dev’s brief is the idea that the data footprints each of us leaves online on a daily basis (while using all type of digital services) could be considered as past entities of ourselves, or trapped, forgotten, hidden, … (online) fragments of our personalities… waiting to be contacted again.
How many different versions of you are there in the cloud? If they could speak, what would they say?
Yet, interestingly, if the term “digital footprint” is generally used in English to depict this situation (the data traces each of us leaves behind), we rather use in French the term “ombre numérique” (literally “digital shadow”). That’s why we’ve decided with Dev that it was preferable to use this term as the title for the workshop (The Everlasting Shadows): it is somehow a more vivid expression that could bring quite direct ideas when it comes to think about designing “devices” to “contact” these “digital entities” or make them visible again in some ways.
Philippe Ramette, “L’ombre de celui que j’étais / Shadow of my former self “, 2007. Light installation, mixed media.