Präsenz/Presence → Design DepartmentHMKW Berlin

MA Communication Design 03 × Jenny Bergström

Mauricio Camacho

«The Modern Coma»

An installation challenging the way we interact (or not) with others.

Have you ever felt like an outsider in a given social context? Like breaking a norm. Everyone else around you is doing something you are not. Some technologies have become a part of who we are and how we define ourselves. It has become so important that, losing it will be like losing a part of our bodies. Imagine how important our thumbs are today. We used to use them to hang out of trees, and now to infinitely scroll on shiny glass rectangles.

The medium has become an extension of ourselves. Our senses and our memories are also being shaped in our devices, we take photos to not having to remember something, we run apps and use data transfer bandwidth all the time. Our daily interactions with close ones happen in chat groups, via video calls or e-mail chains.

Our brains are conditioned by a dopamine rush that push notifications create in our brains. It’s our brain chemistry being modified in real time with that notification buzz, red or blue dots that indicates there’s something new to see, that double blue marks pulling our eyes on a daily basis to let us know someone has read our messages. To our brains, keeping the proportions, it is almost what gambling feels like. You react to a stimulus in order to get a reward.

The way we experience waking life has changed forever. This work is meant to make you think why and how as well as questioning what we have become, as whole and as one. At least you managed to read this far without looking at your little screen.

Image credits: Waiting room (Jan Genge) Commuters (Jens Johnsson)