We live in a schisophrenic era of Internet, social media, digital data, advertisment, artificial intelligence and smart technologies where all this stands above us all, except few individuals that create and controll them. We use it daily, but we are not able to fully understand it. Huge amount of digital data about all of us is stored everyday without us even noticing. Many people act differently online in comparison with their “regular” lives. Therefore, I appreciate projects and organisations that point out this topic, reflect it and try to convey this information to wide public.
One of them surely is Amsterdam based interactive design studio — Moniker. The descriptive words that all the projects of Moniker have in common would be interactive, collaborative, researching and analysing. Most of them don’t lack humor and playfulness as well. The main topic of their design practise is social effects of technologies.
Moniker, from my point of view, is the right way how to approach design, interaction and mainly intervention — it’s simply how it is supposed to be done. Especially interesting and society-beneficial are projects such as Click Click Click for instance — project that shows in really playfull and easy-to-understand way that every move with cursor we make on the Internet is monitored very precisely. Another important topic — possibilities of Computer vision and potential danger is contained in project called Anti-selfie Club or Out of Line Crowd where it’s simulated by drawing lines by audience on human face in a video. Another subject — society collaboration and participation is in my estimation something really hard to accomplish via design. Moniker, however, has some projects that proove their ability in doing so — such as aforementioned Out of Line Crowd, Place a Stone, Your Line or Mine, famous Do not touch and many others.
Another common aspect of most of their projects is a form of expression. Their most used tools include video, website, animation, mobile application — common forms for interactive design which offer the best way how to contact and educate masses. Projects such as Out of Line Crowd and Do not touch are their true speciality in this matter. They found an unique way how to collect data and display them to public in a funny way. The fact I like the most about it is the social research hidden behind it. In Do not touch even though it’s a music video for dutch band, you can see movement of coursor of all the people that watched the video before you did. In one moment many of them pointed on lady parts of a model even if the video said “do not touch the model”. Would they do it if they woludn’t be hidden behind monitors?
Interaction design together with videogames and social media has nowadays a big potential in changing society. If not changing than at least pointing out important topics that should be considered. Moniker is one of the studios that leads the way.