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Fidgety Machines from Takram London on Vimeo.


Fidgety Machines is a response to a situation in which human beings have become machines that obsessively process information fed by social media. Hidden within this dynamic is our subservient relationship with the infrastructure that supports digital communication. Over-checking of social media platforms, being the first to post events, and fear of missing out are pervasive aspects of obsessive compulsion. Rather than lamenting them, Fidgety Machines embraces these behaviours as positive skills.

We have constructed a reality close to our own where our data is constantly monitored and interpreted by machines. In this scenario, compulsive behaviours are exploited to create noise that confuses the machines’ algorithms, providing a camouflage protection for our privacy. All three devices in the exhibit are designed to create junk data by harnessing the the physical tics that typify compulsive disorders. The accompanying video imagines the effects of data noise on a machine vision that cannot recognise or make sense of it, exploring new aesthetics of confusion in computerised systems.

Project Details

Year: 2016

Agency: Takram
Design & Direction: Yosuke Ushigome & Owen Wells (Takram London)
This project was developed for Unread Messages exhibition.
©2020 Owen Wells Studio