Stefani Byrd + Wes Eastin, Live Interactive Installation, 2012

(Digital Traffic Message Board with built in Modem, Web Camera, Live Video Feed, and Hidden Performers)

Featured at FLUX NIGHT, October 2012, Atlanta, Georgia


This installation consisted of a digital traffic message board that responded to passersby in real time with snarky/mean comments. The sign was remotely controlled by hidden performers who had a view of the street and could update the sign in real time to respond rudely and provocatively to the audience. The sign was meant to mimic behaviors found in online message boards by “trolls”, or people who are intentionally inflammatory or cruel in order to elicit an emotional response from others.  The installation comments on the psychological concept of the online disinhibition effect that allows everyday people to anonymously express otherwise inhibited behaviors in cyberspace.

What does it say about us, that given the opportunities the web provides of a perceived audience and anonymity that we can so easily transform into
altered and ill-mannered versions of ourselves?  Why are so many of us engaging in and enjoying this form of identity deception and how does this affect the online space we all share? Being put on the receiving end of a staged social practice like “trolling” may help shed light on this behavior by taking it out of the context of the Internet and directing it at us while in public space.

(Tits or GTFO (get the fuck out) is a common phrase on internet chat boards which is a demand for less talk and more nude pictures of women. Harassment of women and minorities is a common occurrence in digital spaces.)

(Cast: Jon Carr, Wes Eastin, and Rueben Medina)

Sponsored by Flux Projects