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— Do you know any female architect?
— ...Zaha Hadid?
— ...this is such a banal example!
"The Conversation" is an interactive installation made as a part of my graduation project. When entering a room the viewer is confronted with a hologram middle-aged man. The man is discoursing politically sensitive subjects. The hologram is programmed to engage in a conversation by responding to "yes" and "no" answers given by the viewer. Anyone is welcomed to participate by engaging in a conversation about art, sexism, and technology.

Living in 21 century we are used to interacting with ever-improving technology. The internet with its virtual assistants, interactive maps, and such became an integral part of everyday life, simplifying it.

However, the idea of these devices starting to live their own lives is still abstract to us. For most people, it's difficult to imagine electronics to dominate us and our views by expressing their emotions, ideas, and thoughts. In other words, it is not yet easy to imagine robots to be sensitive smart creatures.

When getting help from another person, we make sure to properly thank them. Nonetheless, we don't consider doing so with virtual assistants. Moreover, we don't think of it as rude. The strategic implementation of artificial intelligence into our lives makes me think that soon enough we will develop a new form etiquette specifically for talking to robots.

The Project's Goal
I aimed to create a dialogue with a manipulator, who skillfully builds a conversation and gets desirable responses. I wanted to see how viewers felt about the dominant, partially rude AI hiding behind the hologram. Using well-known manipulation tricks I created a situation, where the viewer is always wrong and their opinions will remain unheard. I was intrigued to see that some people emotionally responded to the code generated manipulation, therefore completed the chain of manipulation algorithm.

The Hologram - Name one famous female architect!
The Viewer - Zaha Hadid!
The Hologram - Oh... this is such a banal example!
Directed by Anastasia Afonina
Acting by Sonia Ciubotaru, Ivan Paitre, Chrystopher Pygmire, Gregory William Hubert and Filomena Marforio
Cinematography by Ray van der Bas and Omri Bigetz
Programmed by Martijn Zandvliet
Special thanks to Tungsten Studio
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